The three-in-one policy has largely failed to restrict private vehicle use in Jakarta, but it remains the only option for now.
Introduced in 2003, the policy obliges all cars using certain streets in the capital during morning and evening rush hours to have at least three occupants. It is supposed to be enforced on Jalan Sudirman, Jalan Thamrin, Jalan Gatot Subroto, Jalan Hayam Wuruk and Jalan Gajah Mada.
But rather than turning to public transportation, as was hoped, motorists began paying “jockeys” between Rp 10,000 and Rp 20,000 ($1.10 and $2.20) to ride with them and boost their passenger numbers in the three-in-one zones.
Since the policy was passed, Jakarta authorities have discussed other ways to restrict car traffic, including restrictions based on license plate numbers or car color, and an electronic road pricing scheme.
This last proposal, the ERP, would require drivers to pay for passage on restricted roads. The plan, backed by Vice President Boediono, would install gantries on roads that would automatically deduct a fee from value cards in each car, stored in a remote receiver.
But the plan could hit regulatory hurdles even before it is rolled out.
“The central government’s perception is that governments are not allowed to collect fees from public roads,” said Farchad Mahfud, from the Presidential Unit for Development, Supervision and Oversight (UKP4).
He said a Finance Ministry regulation would have to be in place to give the ERP a legal basis under the 2009 Tax Law. The city would also have to pass a bylaw to enforce the regulation, and then the project could be tendered out.
While exact fees for the scheme have not been discussed, the ERP would be a lucrative source of revenue for the city, according to a report for the Greater Jakarta Urban Transportation Policy Integration project (Jutpi).
The Jutpi project, which aims to update the city’s transportation plan with the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), several other ministries and local administrations, was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
“The ERP project could produce financial resources for other projects,” including constructing more access roads, the Jutpi report said.
But Luky Eko Wuryanto, the deputy for infrastructure and regional development at the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, said the city needed to develop its public transportation system or people would object to restrictive vehicle polices.
“There are still too many protests,” he said. “If you want to restrict [vehicle use], then there has to be better public transport. Give people more convenient options.”
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