The Jakarta Post
The planned revocation of Jakarta's three-in-one traffic policy is expected to worsen congestion in the capital if the Jakarta administration cannot come up with a backup plan.
The administration is set to allow all motorists to pass restricted roads in Central Jakarta, such as Jl. Sudirman, Jl. MH Thamrin and Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat, next week to assess the outcome of revoking the policy, under which a car must be carrying at least three passengers to use the roads.
Responding to the plan, head of law enforcement at the Jakarta Police traffic unit Adj. Sr. Comr. Budiyanto said that the police were ready to support the administration's plan, although the two institutions had yet to discuss the policy in depth.
Nonetheless, he suggested that the administration needed a backup regulation to anticipate an increased number of vehicles in the capital.
'The three-in-one policy was applied to reduce congestion as it can restrict the number of vehicles in the city. If the administration does not have a backup regulation, I think the city still needs the three-in-one policy,' Budiyanto told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
He further said that if the administration deemed the policy a cause of child exploitation, it should enforce the law in accordance with Article 4 of Jakarta Regulation No. 8/2007 on Public Order, instead of revoking the policy. According to the article, it is illegal for people to offer themselves as passengers-for-hire, locally known as joki, or for motorists to pick them up.
The city devised the plan after the South Jakarta police uncovered child exploitation practices among a group of joki.
Last week, the police arrested four suspects, who allegedly forced dozens of children to work as beggars and street performers. Among the children was a 6-month-old baby, who was taken to a hospital for treatment after he was found to have been given high doses of a sedative. It is suspected that members of the group rented out children for Rp 200,000 (US$15) a day.
Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama said the administration would revoke the policy as it was a likely cause of child exploitation. Ahok further said that the administration initially wanted to revoke the policy after it first implemented electronic road pricing (ERP) in 2006.
However, there were roadblocks to realizing the plan as the administration was currently facing difficulties in determining the pricing regulations, he added.
In the meantime, he said the administration would ensure that Transjakarta lanes were free of private vehicles to make travel on the public buses faster, which in turn would encourage more people to use Transjakarta services and leave their cars at home.
The revocation plan has received a mixed reaction from the public.
Rizki Kurniandi, 29, who drives a car with his wife to work every day, argued that although he tried to avoid traveling during rush hour when the three-in-one policy was in effect, he would still encounter traffic congestion, especially along Jl. Sudirman.
'The policy has been ineffective, so I support the city administration's plan to revoke it until there is a better way to tackle traffic congestion,' Rizki said.
Atikah Fitriani, 23, said that the three-in-one policy has made main streets more orderly, and revoking it would only worsen congestion.
'If the issue here is about child exploitation, then the city administration should focus on eradicating that because there will still be child exploitation even if the three-in-one policy is revoked. It won't solve any problems and traffic congestion will get worse,' she said.
Iin Linawati, a 38-year-old mother, said she wouldn't mind losing her job as a joki once the policy was annulled as long as the government could provide her with a decent job.
'I actually don't want to do this, but I have to earn money to take care of seven children,' said Iin, who earns up to Rp 200,000 a day as a joki.
She said the amount was twice as much if she brought her daughter too. 'I am not exploiting my daughter, I brought her along with me because nobody in my house could take care of her,' Iin added. (fac)
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