Monday, 13 May 2013

Jakarta moving forward with congestion pricing

The Jakarta Post reported that Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, has said that the Government Regulation regarding the financial and taxation status of electronic road pricing (ERP - the term being used in Indonesia to describe urban congestion charging) has been signed.

In 2011, a regulation on traffic management and engineering was signed to facilitate ERP, now with there being legal approval at the financial level, there are no legal barriers to implementation. 

The Jakarta Transportation Agency (which has an almost impenetrable website) has said that work will start on the design and concept, including establishing where and by how much motorists will pay.  The current talk is of implementation in 2014 according to the Jakarta Globe.

Electronic Road Pricing will replace blunt HOV rule at peak times

The intention is that ERP will replace the current vehicle rationing system in place in parts of Jakarta, this is essentially a peak time HOV system that requires all cars to have 3 or more occupants.   It applies to specific roads between 0700-1000 and 1630-1900 on weekdays.

This has resulted in entrepreneurial Jakartans standing beside the roads approaching the "3-in-1" zone charging a small fee for hitching with motorists.  The Jakarta Globe has an article about the "Jakarta Jockeys" as they are called, typically charge Rp.15000 (US$1.54) each to be the third (or even second and third) occupants of cars driving into the restricted zone.  Police officers currently enforce the HOV system on sight, issuing fines of up to Rp.1 million (around US$103) for violations.   The roads the system applies to get revised regularly, but the whole system will disappear when ERP is introduced.

The scheme will also replace the odd/even vehicle demand management system that was just introduced in March 2013.  That system restricts vehicles with odd or even number plates from entering certain areas at peak times on specific days, essentially alternating access during weekdays to reduce congestion.  

ERP will contribute to major reduction in congestion

ERP is intended to be the major contributor to a target of reducing traffic delays by 40% by 2014 according to the Jakarta Post.  Apparently only 40% of time spent on the roads by commuters is spent moving.  56.8% of trips into Jakarta are undertaken by car.  Traffic has been increasing by 11% per annum, but road capacity by 0.01%.  

Beyond the urban congestion charge, tough enforcement of illegal on-street parking and on-street vendors on major routes will increase the usable capacity of those roads.  The city and Indonesia itself is loathe to ban people from buying vehicles, but may also consider other measures to restrict vehicles (e.g. banning even or odd numbered licence plated vehicles from certain days).

Possible first stage of Jakarta Electronic Road Pricing

Blue is Phase 1, Yellow Phase 2 and Red Phase 3 of proposed Jakarta congestion pricing
The city has stated that the prices would likely be in the range of Rp. 6500 (US$0.67) and Rp. 21000 (US$2.16) would be adequate to make a meaningful difference to congestion, prices would vary according to time of day, size of vehicles and location, with higher prices for the most congested routes and crossing points.  The expectation is that a mix of individual routes and cordons will be charged, it is worth bearing in mind that Jakarta has quite a few (manual) toll roads, so is not unfamiliar with road pricing.  There are separate concepts to adapt Jakarta's toll roads towards fully electronic free flow technology, both to address toll plaza congestion and to allow for more dynamic, peak pricing.

"The administration said that the provisional trip charge reflected inflation and economic growth and was based on a survey of motorists and the tolls charged by turnpikes and ERP systems in other countries."

The expectation is that the system will resemble the Singaporean one, with a DSRC type system with on-board units required for all vehicles driving on the charged roads, and prepaid smartcards inserted in them that can be topped up at various retail outlets.  Of course it will also require extensive number plate recognition based enforcement.  

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