News that London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone, has unveiled a five year £10 billion transport scheme for London, has not made Jakartass, a Londoner, nostalgic for ‘home’, but it has certainly got me to wondering if Jakarta would benefit from something similar.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear; such expenditure would, but shouldn’t, be a honey pot for the politicians and bureaucrats of City Hall. Obviously I’d be living in a fantasy world, and I don’t mean Dunia Fantasi, if I thought that such a scheme were remotely possible here.
London now has a decaying transport infrastructure whereas Jakarta has not had a cohesive infrastructure in the nigh-on twenty years that I’ve lived here. Every improvement, such as air-conditioned limited stop express (patas) buses, has rapidly been overwhelmed by the limited number of routes and the excessive demand on the services.
Bus crews are not paid a ‘living wage’, so they depend on the number of passengers carried for their income. The bus fleets have suffered from under-investment; ‘new’ buses, like the commuter trains, are generally second-hand, imported from China and elsewhere. Maintenance is seemingly limited to cannibalism.
For those with a particular interest in London, a .pdf file of the Transport for London Five Year Investment Programme, to give it its short name, can be downloaded here.
The following are my adaptations of its key points which I feel are achievable, with enough political goodwill, here.
* Air-cooled trains
* Rail extensions to (name your destination ~ Kelapa Gading? Tanjung Duren? Soekarno-Hatta Airport?)
* Switch to low-floor buses with CCTV.
* Introduction of low-emission zone by 2007
* Initiatives to encourage more walking
* New pedestrian crossings with priority given to pedestrians.
* New street lighting (rather than illuminated advertisements and fairy lights).
* New security measures for trains and stations, inc. no ticket touts
* A cycle network
* Extension of the 3-in-1 scheme throughout the day and to points north, south, east and west.