Tuesday 5 April 2016

Jakarta's congestion pricing programme is further delayed: HOV rule to be temporarily suspended

The Jakarta Globe reports that ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) for the city remains a "pipe dream" even though only a couple of months ago it appeared the city was ready to procure a congestion pricing system that would pioneer the policy for Indonesia.  I've written extensively about it here.

The report says:

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said the regulations and payment procedures for ERP, where cars pay to pass certain streets using an onboard unit, were still not ready, though the technology and infrastructure are available.

However, it would appear it isn't just regulations and payment procedures (which should not be difficult):

"It's okay to suspend the three-in-one system, as long as a replacement is ready," the Jakarta Police's traffic unit head Adj. Sr. Comr. Budiyanto said. "But the problem is, there are still so many things to prepare for the [implementation of] ERP, including human resources, infrastructure, the legal aspects and databases related to it."

In other words, without either the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems to reliably identify Indonesia's less than easy to read number plates, nor a database with sufficient accuracy to identify the names and addresses of vehicle owners (and to update this when ownership changes),  it is difficult to implement electronic road pricing.   This sample number plate from Wikimedia has various dimensions that reduce the reliability of ANPR technology, which should achieve accuracy levels of between 83% and 98% in the latest implementations of such systems.  The small numbers at the bottom of the plate are likely to prove difficult to read, and with a light on dark plate, with characters close to the rim increase the scope for inaccuracy compared with this UK sample plate.  

I wrote about this several times before, and it astonishes me that Jakarta hasn't focused on addressing this issue and the number plate database issue.

Meanwhile, the Jakarta Post reports that the city appears about to abandon its "3-in-1" rule temporarily, which essentially make two major roads in central Jakarta all high occupancy vehicle (HOV) routes (that's the whole road, not just a lane).   It applies from 0700-1000 and 1630-1900 weekdays.
Jakarta 3 in 1 network highlighted

The purpose of the rule is to reduce congestion, by requiring cars to carry three people, but it has spawned an informal industry of people who queue up near the boundaries to be paid to fill cars.   The proposed ERP congestion pricing system is meant to replace the rule, but "3 in 1" is accused of spawning child exploitation, as "joki" (jockeys - people who hire themselves as passengers) are blamed for running child begging, street performance and rental rackets.  

It is to be suspended for a week for city officials to assess the impacts, both on child exploitation and traffic.  The Jakarta Globe says the problem is that a few jokis are drugging their young children whilst undertaking their trade, and carry them to increase the chance of being picked up by drivers (drugging the children means they are not a nuisance).  They get US$1.50 per trip, which in Indonesia is more than the average hourly income.  Australia's ABC has more on this. However, the Police oppose the trial because of the impact on traffic congestion, although it will enforce bus lanes to ensure they continue to operate relatively freely.

UPDATE: Antara reports that the 3 in 1 policy is being replaced by enforcement of the odd-even number plate policy (which rewards those with two cars), but also claims that the Governor now wants ERP implemented.

It describes implemention of ERP geographically as follows:

According to the plan, the ERP implementation area will be divided into three sections. Area I will cover the Blok M-Kota Station, Jalan Gatot Subroto (Kuningan-Senayan), Jalan Rasuna Said-Tendean Tendean-Blok M, and Jalan Asia Afrika-Pejompongan.

Area II will comprise Dukuh Atas-Matraman-Manggarai-Jatinegara-Gunung Sahari and Kampung Melayu-Casablanca-Jalan Prof. Dr.Satrio-Tanah Abang.

Meanwhile, Area III will include Grogol-Roxi-Harmony, Tomang-Harmoni-Pasar Baru, Cempaka Putih-Senen-Gambir, Cawang -Pluit -Tanjung Priok, Cawang-Tanjung Priok, and Sunter-Kemayoran.

Tempo reports that the ERP rates "will" start at  30,000 Rp (US$2.28) raising to 50,000 (US$3.80) if congestion remains, although it could be free if traffic is temporarily diverted into ERP charged areas.  A 200,000Rp (US$15.21) deposit for the vehicle OBU will be required.

Of course, the problem of enforcement remains, the question of what happens when someone doesn't have an ERP OBU has to be addressed.

No comments:

Post a Comment