Jakarta choking traffic crawl.
KL not any better laa... hahaJakarta Post
JAKARTA, Oct 11: Jakarta’s unprecedented traffic congestion sees millions of cars burning gas as they sit stationary, and millions of residents choking their lives away in plumes of thick pollution every day.
And yet there is no solution to this problem; either around the corner or on the horizon.
Adithya Permana Mulya, 28, said recently that his weekly fuel expenditure had doubled because of increased traffic congestion.
Adithya, an interior design consultant who drives an SUV, usually spends between Rp 250,000 (US$28) and Rp 350,000 on gasoline every week.
In the week after the Idul Fitri holiday last month, when many residents were still in their hometowns, Adithya saw his fuel bill drop dramatically.
“There was not much traffic on the roads and I only spent around Rp 150,000 on gasoline that week,” said Adithya, who lives in East Jakarta and works on Jl. Thamrin in Central Jakarta.
Christina Veronika, 32, who started taking an ojek (motorcycle taxi) between her home in Kota, West Jakarta, and her workplace in Kuningan, South Jakarta, five months ago because of traffic, said she has been experiencing breathing problems since she stopped going by car.
About two months ago, Christina saw a doctor about her breathing problem, and ended up spending Rp 350,000 for the consultation and medicine.
“The doctor said I had an inflammation in my throat. He said it was probably caused by pollution.”
The Economist reported that Jakarta is the world’s largest city without a rapid transportation system.
With millions of people living in the city, and buses — most of them clapped out — the only form of public transport, it is estimated that traffic moves at an average speed of 13 kilometers per hour in Jakarta, compared with 19 kilometers per hour in London. The magazine reported that loose consumer credit and fuel subsidies are boosting car ownership by 10-15 percent a year.
The Presidential Work Unit for Development Monitoring and Control recently reported that each year Jakarta lost Rp 12.8 trillion (US$1.43 billion) as a result of severe traffic congestion.
The World Bank puts that figure at Rp 43 trillion a year.
Firdaus Ali, an environmentalist, said motorists in the city wasted Rp 10.7 trillion on fuel burned while stuck in traffic last year.
“If a vehicle needs 1 liter of gasoline for a 20-kilometer journey, it will probably need between 2 and 3 liters for the same journey if the route is congested,” Firdaus said.
Pollution has worsened in Jakarta, creating various health problems such as infection of the upper respiratory tract, he said.
According to data from the Health Ministry, respiratory tract infections topped the list of diseases in Jakarta last year, with about 1.8 million reported cases.
This reflected a 22.35 percent increase from the previous year.
Firdaus estimated that Jakartans spent a combined Rp 5.8 trillion on treatment for respiratory problems every year, adding that the true figure could be higher.
“Many people also lost time with their families and productive working hours, spending an average of more than six hours a week on the roads due to congestion,” he said.
“My research team estimated total annual losses of Rp 9.7 trillion in lost work time resulting from traffic jams,” he said.