TransJakarta Busway, a Bus Rapit Transit (BRT) system, has been implemented in Jakarta, Indonesia, since February 2004. The media publicities largely covered the system as a new hope for an unending congestion mitigation in Jakarta. As many have learned, the BRT system has far more potentials than merely congestion mitigation. BRT has effectively and effiently reduced carbon emission from transportation sector, the second largest contributors to green house gasses emissions leading to the change of global environment. The fact that there were limited discussions about climate change when TransJakarta Busway was initiated is worth to study.
Despite the controversies, I am, and I believe many Jakartans and Indonesian are, grateful that Governor Sutiyoso firmly believes and is persistent when delivering the TransJakarta Busway project. There are always much more lessons can be learned from a system that is in operation rather than a system that is still on paper. Now that TransJakarta Busway has been in operation for almost 6 years, some critical questions maybe necessary to visit:
The initial idea of implementing this project is an unending traffic congestion in Jakarta. It is clear that there are far too many vehicles on Jakarta’s streets. The question is how to move car drivers and passengers to busway. Now that BRT has been in operation, has the actual number of vehicles on Jakarta’s streets been reduced? If it has not reduced, what factors might prevent from its reduction? If it has reduced, is the reduction significant considering the massive fund put in the BRT project?
One important thing to have a new system in place is that people can really experience it. Indeed, experience tells more stories than written words. In the attempt to change individual travel behavior, experiencing BRT creates more opportunities for people to make changes on their day-to-day travel habit. However, this does not mean that people who experienced BRT will change their travel behavior. Before the actual change on their travel behavior, it is important to revisit how their perception on travelling in Jakarta is changed, before and after the introduction of TransJakarta busway? In what ways do these [potential] changes are related to the change of global environment?
How perception on mobility before the implementation of TransJakarta busway is different from the perception after? How is this connected with the trend of increased/reduced vehicle ownership in Jakarta?
What are your thoughts on this?