Jakarta – The Transportation Ministry has denied a rumor about the government's plan to impose a tax on cyclists due the rising popularity of cycling amid the loosening of social restrictions that had been implemented to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Previously, the ministry's land transportation director general, Budi Setyadi, said bicycle usage should be regulated through a ministerial or regional head decree amid increasing cycling activities recently.
"it is not true that the ministry is currently drafting a regulation on a bicycle tax," the ministry's spokesperson Adita Irawati said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com.
She added that the ministry was currently drafting a regulation focusing on the safety aspect of cycling as a daily mode of transportation, such as bicycle paths, reflectors and other safety equipment for cyclists.
Law No. 22/20119 on traffic and land transportation categorizes bicycles as non-motorized transportation, which permits the central government and regional administrations to regulate its usage.
The Transportation Ministry would demand that regional administrations actively protect cyclists, Adita went on to say.
Cycling has become a popular choice of transportation among Jakartans to commute and for exercise.
Nongovernmental organization the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) recorded a tenfold increase in the number of cyclists along Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta on June 11 – prompting the Jakarta administration to set up miles of pop-up bike lanes along Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin in Central Jakarta. (dpk)