Erwin C. Sihombing, Jakarta – The Jakarta provincial government has decided to expand its odd-even traffic rationing policy to more roads and longer hours as part of a multi-pronged effort to combat air pollution in the capital.
The new policy will take effect on Sept. 9, as the city deems one month long enough to inform motorists.
Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo said the revised policy would increase the number of affected roads to 25 from nine currently.
For example, the odd-even policy on Jalan Sudirman, Jalan M.H. Thamrin and Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat will be extended north to Jalan Majapahit, Jalan Gajah Mada and Jalan Hayam Wuruk up to Kota Tua.
In the south, it will be extended to Jalan Sisingamangaraja, Jalan Panglima Polim and Jalan R.S. Fatmawati Raya, to where it crosses Jalan T.B. Simatupang in Cilandak.
The new ban would also be extended by an hour and apply from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays.
Syafrin said cars exiting inner-city toll roads into the roads affected by the odd-even policy would no longer be exempt.
"An interesting addition by the governor, is the exemption of electric vehicles from this policy," Syafrin said, adding that motorcycles would also be exempt.
The policy will not affect disabled motorists, who will receive special sticker from the city administration to identify their cars.
The Indonesia Transportation Society (MTI) welcomed the new policy but expressed concern that it may not go far enough.
Djoko Setijowarno, MTI's head of advocacy and community affairs, said motorcyclists were the biggest potential target group to switch to public transportation. An MTI study showed that motorcycles account for about three-quarters of the daily traffic in the capital.
"Make a transportation policy that can have a greater impact, not half measures. Moreover, it only applies in Jakarta; it should also apply to the greater Jakarta area," Djoko said.
The Jakarta administration included motorcycles in the odd-even policy in 2014, which led to a 23 percent decrease in traffic volumes and increased average vehicle speed to 30.8 kilometers per hour from 26.4 km/h previously. However, the Supreme Court later overturned the policy, ruling that it violated the basic rights of motorcycle users.