Indonesia’s capital Jakarta has long been notorious for its snarling traffic. But fresh data now suggests that Jakarta is the city with the world’s worst traffic congestion.
According to the Castrol Magnatec Stop-Start Index, published by British motor oil firm Castrol, Jakarta topped a list of 78 international cities and regions in the globe.
The index, which uses GPS data to calculate the frequency of stop-start driving among drivers, found that motorists in Jakarta made 33,240 stop-starts annually. That is nearly twice the index’s severe level of stop-start driving, which is set at 18,000 stop-starts or more per year. The index also calculated that more than a quarter (27.22 percent) of the travel time of an average driver in Jakarta is spent in idling mode.
Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, popularly known as “Ahok” said he was not surprised with the survey, particularly given the fact that a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail system is still yet to be built in the city.
“It’s true, if you don’t have a railway-based transportation system there will be macet,” Ahok told Warta Kota, using a term meaning traffic gridlock.
“This is homework for the next 30 to 40 years. We have to keep going despite there being stubborn people [opposed to developing the city’s public transportation],” he added.
Meanwhile, Surabaya, Indonesia’s second biggest city, also made the list and was ranked fourth globally. Drivers there were found to make 29,880 stop-starts each year.
This is the second report in just the last few weeks that has raised questions about Jakarta’s reputation as a city. Last Monday, an annual safe cities index released by the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Jakarta dead last.
Jakarta’s performance in the Safe Cities Index, which assesses urban safety and security among 50 selected cities from around the globe in four categories, was dismal across the board, with a 45th ranking in the personal safety category. The other three categories were infrastructure safety, digital security and health security.
In response to the report, Ahok admitted that Jakarta was still not a safe city and noted that it plans to install 2,500 closed-circuit cameras this year alone to assist police in cracking down on crime.
“It is indeed not a safe city yet [that’s why] we plan to install CCTVs across the capital,” he said.