Jakarta – The National COVID-19 task force has called on the Jakarta administration to evaluate the odd-even license plate policy currently in force, as it has caused a spike in the number of public transportation passengers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"Following the implementation of the odd-even plate policy, data show that there has been a 3.5 percent increase in commuter line [KRL] passengers from an average of 400,000 passengers a day," task force head Doni Monardo said in a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing social affairs on Thursday.
The 3.5 percent increase in the number of passengers had increased the passenger density in train cars, he said.
The city-owned bus rapid transit (BRT) service, Transjakarta, has also seen its passenger numbers jump by 6 to 12 percent since Jakarta reimposed the odd-even plate policy in early August, Doni said.
He further revealed that 62 percent of the 944 coronavirus patients hospitalized at the COVID-19 emergency hospital in the Kemayoran Athlete Village in Central Jakarta were users of public transportation.
"Therefore, we ask the Jakarta administration to evaluate the odd-even plate policy to reduce crowds on public transportation," he added.
Doni, who is also the head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), said the task force had also reminded the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry and State-Owned Enterprise Ministry to prevent its employees from using public transportation.
The odd-even plate policy, which was lifted by the city in March following the outbreak, has been implemented on 25 roads in the city since Aug. 3. The policy is in place from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Jakarta Transportation Agency head Syafrin Liputo said the city decided to reimpose the policy to limit car travel because of increased traffic as the capital no longer required an entry and exit permit (SIKM) to travel in and out the city, which previously had limited people's mobility. (aly)