Jakarta — the only megacity in Asia without a mass rapid transit (MRT) system — is now facing a possible traffic apocalypse that will leave the city at a standstill.
Instead of speeding up the process to make the MRT a reality, the governor of Jakarta has chosen to put the decades-old plan on hold, pending the results of potentially stiff negotiations with the central government over how much it should pay for the multi-billion project.
I am not accusing Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo of deliberately stalling the project’s execution. His concerns about the feasibility of the MRT are not entirely groundless, but seeing his policies for other transportation projects, I am just not sure whether the governor is just being prudent or simply having no vision at all of Jakarta’s future.
It seems that he is applying different standards for different policies. It...