Tragic traffic in Jakarta

Destyan Prabowo

Offering all the luxury to be called as a world class metropolitan city, Jakarta soon becomes disoriented by lack of adequate masterplan, but the biggest problem of all seems to be its traffic.


As a typical developing city, just like other Southeast Asian capitals, Jakarta is ‘littered’ with millions of types of vehicles. Bicycles, motorcycles, bajaj, minibuses, buses, large buses or even trucks or containers can be seen everyday throughout the capital. All
of this machinery storms the streets of Jakarta 24 hours a day, as the popular saying goes, the city never sleeps…

As the streets become too crowded, everyone tends to get more aggressive just making their way a single meter ahead. This can be normally seen in a ‘common’ traffic jam during Jakarta’s rush hour. Highways don’t offer any relief either, as the traffic get stuck there too.


Some people are started to act barbaric as they transform as road monsters, blowing away their horn as if it was firing rounds at
enemies ahead, speeding up just to take a few metres of empty spot, hard to giving another vehicle just to be on front of them, or act
speeding up instead of slowing down as they watch people trying to cross the ‘zebra’ zone.

While sedans, SUVs and MPVs were ‘limited’ through it’s size, motorcycle became popular by taking advantage of it’s small size. The two wheelers can slip away easily through the column, saving their time, whilst whizzing through the deadlock of traffic jam.


Although a bigger size vehicle is theoretically ‘limited’ on their movement, this logic certainly won’t work when regarding a minibus.
Mostly operated by a private sector, one of the red bus company called ‘metro-mini’ is become identical with unethical transportation, as
it moves around, taking all the opportunities to pass another vehicle ahead despite any regulations or safety precautions. Honking your horn doesn’t work too well either, as it seems that everyone is doing so all the time. 


Sadly, the passerby also lost it right because of the high tense of the traffic. Despite already given an advantage of being small in
size, motorcycle riders tend to ‘ask more’ by ‘jumping’ the sidewalk, which is pedestrian’s haven and making it as their shortcut. This
unethical behaviour was once considered as a ‘try on’, but later became a rude one as they dare to blow up their horn on pedestrian
to make a way which absolutely isn’t their right under the law. 


Vehicles are somehow looked alike being the top priority of the city development. This can be seen from the new road that keep cutting more place for pedestrian or green environment less in every inch. Away from the downtown, pedestrian looks like will not be prioritized as
the sidewalk suddenly ‘gone’.

The ‘hell’ traffic is said to be the government priority. Once, the local authority introducing a new transportation system, which is offering it’s separated busway corridor. The well-sized air conditioned bus later become the sims’s favorite as it offer a secured, comfortable, fast mode of transportation around the hectic megapolitan. The buses which’ re called as Trans Jakarta soon become the new icon of Jakarta public transportation next to the commuter train.

A better transportation seems already been the citizen long last dream, as it soon attracting more commuter from the very beginning of
it’s services. Another day gone by as another line of passenger last longer just to get aboard the imported bus. While the road is already
jamming by numerous vehicles trying to make their way, inside the bus shelter, passengers also had their own ‘jam’ just to get aboard,
before facing the primary ‘show’ of traffic jam as they managed to get inside.

Indeed, Jakarta is already transformed into a complete city when it comes to terms with giving all the modern lifestyles a spot. But, the
instant rapid development of the once ‘old Batavia’ is leaving a lot of drawbacks, by letting the quality of public services far behind, including transportation. 


This catastrophic actually did bring something unique. Lots of facial expression can be witnesses, as if they’re representing the ‘face of
the city’ Jakarta itself.

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  14. efi says :

    reading this article is like having a slap on my face. I was a motorcyclist in Jakarta. As the writer said, motorcylist has the benefit to fill in the gap, I did that. Being a motorcyclist in Jakarta gave me a moral lesson, such as “there is always a way no matter how stuck the traffic is”.

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