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End of the road for Jakarta bikers

Jakarta: The Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, which is known as a motorcycle city, has approved a plan to ban motorcyclists that swarm its streets by 2030 in an attempt to reduce traffic jams and air pollution.

Jakarta may soon follow in Hanoi’s footsteps as the city continues to expand the motorcycle restriction area.

The Greater Jakarta Transpor-tation Agency (BPTJ) has blamed motorcycle riders for causing all manner of troubles that plague the capital’s streets, from traffic congestion to crimes to accidents.

“When we talk about motorcycles, we are talking about safety. According to data, most street accidents involve motorcycles. It is not that we favour certain kinds of transportation. We are concerned about safety,” BPTJ chief Bambang Prihartono told the media during a discussion on the planned restriction on Tuesday.

Bambang also said the policy was made because the agency was concerned by the number of crimes committed by people riding motorcycles.

In September, the Jakarta administration will try out an expansion of the motorcycle ban, which will span from Merdeka Barat road to Bundaran Senayan road. They hope that restricting motorcycles will popularise the use of public transportation in the capital.

Aloysia Rarasningtyas, 23, a college student who lives in Gandaria, South Jakarta, and drives a car to her campus every day, said that as the most common vehicles in Jakarta, motorcycles surely contributed to traffic congestion.

Currently there are about 4.8 million cars in Jakarta, while there are about 13.6 million motorcycles.

Aloysia acknowledged the restriction policy would make it easier for her to use the road along Merdeka Barat to Bundaran Senayan, but she hoped the administration would prepare better public transportation for motorcyclists before implementing the ban.

“The administration cannot forbid them just like that.

“They have to adapt to the situation and, more importantly, alternative public transportation must be prepared for them,” she said.

Transportation Society Jakarta branch head Tri Tjahjono said he supported any efforts by the agency to improve transportation in Jakar-ta, including by banning motorcycles. However, he thought that the effects would only be temporary if the administration did not provide better public transportation. — The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network/


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