New developments in the urban transport sector in Indonesia promise to counter the trend of increasing greenhouse gas emissions in this sector. Jakarta's nascent bus rapid transit (BRT) system has begun to re-allocate scarce road space in the center of the city to efficient public transportation and has already resulted in a shift of trips from private motor vehicles. Jakarta and other Indonesia cities also have begun to improve pedestrian facilities to increase the number of walking trips, important to the development of public transport. The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and its partners, which have thus far provided technical support for the Jakarta BRT, seek to develop a longer-term technical support system to help bring bus rapid transit and pedestrian improvements in Indonesia up to international state-of-the-art.
The overall objective of this project is to maximize effectiveness of the Jakarta BRT and use it as a catalyst for urban transport reform in Jakarta and other key Indonesian cities. Jakarta is at a crossroads: over the next few years: the city will either construct a premier bus rapid transit system, providing large transport and environmental benefits to its populace and a beacon for other cities in the country and region, or it will implement a system with problems and shortcomings that result in mediocre performance, ultimately cutting short its expansion or even precipitating its removal (the first corridor is, in fact, designed with easily removable lane separators, so that the road space can be given back to cars if need be). Such a failure would damage the entire concept of BRT in Asia and diminish the promise for development of other systems in the region. Thus the first eight (of nine) specific objectives in this project focus on ensuring the success of this system, through its optimized implementation and expansion from its current single corridor to a full system of 14 corridors, covering most of the city, over the next five years. Objective 9 focuses on dissemination activities, in particular assisting other Indonesian cities in establishing sustainable transport programs and transferring knowledge and other achievements gained in the Jakarta aspects of the project.
Apart from bus rapid transit, the project will explicitly support the development of non-motorized transportation systems and infrastructure, transit oriented development and transportation demand management to reduce use of private motor vehicles. Improvements in these areas will provide critical complements to BRT development, and together form the tools to achieve a long-term, sustainable shift to less greenhouse gas emitting forms of transportation.