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Jakarta Post

City officials leave cars behind, bike to work

  • Sita W. Dewi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 3, 2014   /  01:08 pm
City officials leave cars behind, bike to work Bike to work: Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo parks his bicycle at City Hall in Jakarta on Friday. Jokowi has instructed all civil servants and city officials to leave their cars at home on the first Friday of every month, starting today. The new policy is stipulated in Gubernatorial Instruction No. 150/2013 on the use of public transportation for civil servants and city officials signed by Jokowi on Dec. 30. (Antara/Wahyu Putro) (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

Bike to work: Jakarta Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo parks his bicycle at City Hall in Jakarta on Friday. Jokowi has instructed all civil servants and city officials to leave their cars at home on the first Friday of every month, starting today. The new policy is stipulated in Gubernatorial Instruction No. 150/2013 on the use of public transportation for civil servants and city officials signed by Jokowi on Dec. 30. (Antara/Wahyu Putro)

Most Jakarta administration officials turned up at City Hall on Friday morning by various means to attend Governor Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo'€™s briefing.

Some took a taxi while others took a Transjakarta bus. Others chose a healthier way: cycling.

They had no other choice as the governor has introduced a new policy, making it obligatory for civil servants at the city administration to leave their cars at home on the first Friday of every month. The policy does not apply to emergency services workers.

Jakarta Education Agency head Taufik Yudi Mulyanto chose to bike to work from his home in Pasar Rebo, East Jakarta, on Friday.

'€œI have called on all my subordinates, including school principals, to leave their private vehicles behind today. I can'€™t monitor their compliance all at once; I hope they will be honest,'€ he said upon his arrival at City Hall.

Taufik boasted to journalists that he had been biking to work for seven years.

'€œI have biked from home to my office on Gatot Subroto [South Jakarta] on Tuesdays and Fridays for seven years now. It'€™s actually faster -- it takes 50 minutes by bike and one hour and 15 minutes by car,'€ he said.

Jakarta Transportation Agency head Udar Pristono chose to take a public minivan and a Transjakarta bus on Friday.

'€œI walked about 400 meters from my home in Pancoran [South Jakarta] to the nearest public minivan stop. I took a public minivan and got off at the Pancoran Transjakarta bus shelter and then continued the trip using the Transjakarta feeder bus serving Bekasi-Tanah Abang,'€ he told reporters at City Hall.

While using public transportation, Udar was able to monitor motorists'€™ compliance to traffic regulations.

'€œI found that the public minivan driver did not wear a uniform and did not stop at designated stops, so I rebuked him. It'€™s good for officials -- this way we can directly monitor the implementation of regulations in the field,'€ he said, adding that he hoped other government institutions in the capital would follow suit.

Jakarta Health Agency head Dien Emmawati lauded the policy, saying it would encourage city officials to get more exercise.

'€œSurveys say 60 percent of city officials, mostly men, have big bellies and it is dangerous because it leads to high-blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack. This way we are encouraged to walk more,'€ said Dien, who took a taxi from her home in Rempoa, South Jakarta, to her office in Central Jakarta.

Jakarta Fire Department head Subejo is one of the few officials allowed to drive private or official vehicles to work on the first Friday of every month.

'€œFirefighters are exempt from the instruction due to the nature of our job. So I used my official vehicle,'€ he said.

Even though the governor and the deputy governor are not subject to the new policy as public officials are not civil servants, Jokowi set an example by riding a bicycle to work.

Arriving at City Hall at 7:30 a.m., Jokowi cycled from his official residence in Menteng, Central Jakarta. Deputy Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama came in his official car.

'€œHe asked for my permission. He has meetings to attend,'€ Jokowi said.