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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        20  June 2011

Jakarta’s commuting disaster

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A global survey has shown that Jakarta has the world’s worst transportation system in the eyes of users.

The capital ranked the lowest of 23 cities worldwide surveyed by global research firm Frost & Sullivan for its Journey Experience Index survey from September 2010 to February 2011.

Traffic congestion has long been a major complaint by companies in the city, as it hampers productivity and reduces competitiveness due to increased logistics costs.

The two cities rounding out the basement with the Big Durian were Seoul in South Korea and Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.

“Commuters in these three cities were mainly dissatisfied due to traffic congestion for individual transport and over-crowding in public transportation,” Vivek Vaidya, Frost & Sullivan’s vice president for automotive and transportation practice in Asia Pacific, said in a press statement.

The firm tracked the mobility of 27,600 commuters and inner-city residents all over the world. Jakarta scored an average of 30.5 points, compared to 36.5 for Seoul, 45.5 for Rio de Janeiro and 61 for the global benchmark.

Vaidya said that 73.5 percent of private commuters surveyed in Jakarta cited speed and traffic congestion as their main frustrations. He added that the research firm had surveyed 394 public commuters and 1,007 private commuters here.

“Congestion has made our employees less productive and efficient,” said Sofjan Wanandi, the chairman of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo).

He added that workers had to spend considerable amounts of time and money just to get to work. “Our logistics costs are also high — 14 percent to 15 percent of our total costs,” he said.

The Jakarta administration has predicted total gridlock in the city by 2012 without drastic action, as the population grows and car sales soar by about 15 percent annually.

The trial is ongoing.


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