Tuesday 6 September 2011

Jakarta toll road truck ban is permanent

In May I reported on a temporary truck ban that the Jakarta Transportation Agency had imposed on the inner city toll road, to reduce congestion. It has been very controversial because it applied between 0500 and 2200, severely restricting logistics and freight movements outside those hours.  It was due to be withdrawn after a trial related to Indonesia hosting an ASEAN conference.

Well it appears that the ban is to be permanent on one section of the inner city toll road between 0500 and 2200, according to the Jakarta Post. The national Transportation Ministry has decided that all trucks over 8 tonnes will be banned on the section of toll road between Cawang and Pluit. The reason apparently being that container trucks account for around 30% of traffic during peak times on the road.   Jakarta's traffic congestion is chronically bad.

I commented before that a far better solution would be to shift to fully electronic free flow tolling at toll plazas and then charge peak charges to manage demand. That would then enable the cost of the congestion to be properly addressed.

The trucking industry lobby group, Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda), says that the regulation will cost 6.8 billion Rupiah a day (around US$797,000). The location of the route is below, running from highways in the south and east around the central city to the port in the north.

Jakarta Inner Ring (toll) Road segment now banned for trucks between 0500-2200

Now, trucks can still use other roads to make the trips. There are heavily congested untolled roads beneath the toll road, and the road is a ring, so they might travel the long way around. However, for now it appear to be a permanent stop-gap, perhaps until Jakarta introduces congestion charging?

UPDATEThe Jakarta Globe reports truck operators saying fees will increase 20-30% as a result of the ban.  Again, surely a far more effective solution would be to significant increase the toll, eliminate manual toll booths and use the additional revenue to improve highway capacity further (and if that is unaffordable, then consider whether the port regulatory framework doesn't mean that ports elsewhere should be developed instead).

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