Experts called on the Jakarta administration to employ other alternatives to reduce the use of private vehicles in the capital, as the city looks likely to delay the much-anticipated electronic road pricing (ERP) system.
The ERP, which would be implemented in Jakarta’s main thoroughfares, will apply both to private cars and motorcycles.
Trisakti University transportation expert Trisbiantara said Tuesday that a feasible alternative that would reduce private vehicle usage — and thus reduce congestion — would be to forbid on-street parking in more areas and to increase parking fees.
“The main issue is to have less private vehicles. If the ERP bylaw cannot be implemented in the near future, then higher parking fees can deter people from using their cars,” Trisbiantara told The Jakarta Post.
Earlier Tuesday, Sutanto Soehodho, deputy to the Jakarta governor for transportation affairs, said it was unlikely that the ERP scheme could be implemented in the near future.
“The Transportation Ministry is still waiting for a decision by the Finance Ministry regarding on a number of policies related to the ERP,” Sutanto said.
He said one of the main obstacles holding back the implementation of the ERP scheme was that the road pricing levy was not included as tax or retribution in the 2009 Regional Tax and Retribution Law.
“There are concerns that if the central government allows for a levy outside of existing regulations, such as the ERP, other regions would also be able to do the same,” Sutanto said.
A coalition of transportation experts, Transportation Demand Management, proposed a zoning system for parking to discourage on-street parking.
Under the proposed system, areas in the city would be divided into three categories based on the level of activity in the area.
The coalition said the busy zones in the city should charge parking fees five times higher than in non-busy zones, while less busy zones should charge fees three times higher.
Izul Waro from the Institute for Transportation Studies (Instran) said another alternative to the ERP was to expand the high-occupancy vehicle rule to more wider areas for longer periods.
Under the current HOV system, commonly called the 3-in-1 rule, which has been in effect since 1994, private vehicles must carry at least three passengers to be allowed to use main thoroughfares from Blok M in South Jakarta to Kota in West Jakarta during weekday rush hour.
“The city can expand [the HOV] areas,” Izul told the Post.
The city administration initially planned to implement the ERP scheme 24 hours a day on existing HOV streets: Jl. Sisingamangaraja, Jl. Sudirman, Jl. MH Thamrin, Jl. Merdeka Barat, Jl. Majapahit, Jl. Gajah Mada, Jl. Hayam Wuruk, Jl. Pintu Besar Selatan and Jl. Pintu Besar Utara.
In the later stages, the ERP system would have extended to cover the ten routes of the TransJakarta rapid bus transit.