The Switch to Electric Vehicles Must Prioritize Public Transport

The Switch to Electric Vehicles Must Prioritize Public Transport

Source: | June 10, 2024

Transportation observer from the Indonesian Transportation Society (MTI) Djoko Setijowarno said that the transition from oil-fueled vehicles to electric vehicles must prioritize public transportation.

This, he said when contacted in Jakarta, Monday, was so that the energy transition would not only have an impact on reducing emissions but also on reducing congestion and further on solving the air pollution problem in big Indonesian cities such as Jakarta and others.  “This is momentum to improve public transportation with electricity, while also overcoming congestion and pollution. If we continue to focus on serving private vehicles, we will still be stuck, what’s the point?” he said.

Previously, the Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) purchased 552 electric buses in the electric vehicle incentive program amounting to IDR 12.3 trillion in two fiscal years, 2023-2024.

According to him, these buses can be operated in 1,824 middle and lower class housing complexes in the Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi areas to fill the gap in public transportation services in those areas and then overcome traffic jams, including in Jakarta.

“Most of Jakarta has access to public transportation, 88.2 percent. Jakarta is already accessible to public transportation. That’s why the 552 electric buses can be used for 1,824 middle class housing complexes that still lack public transportation services in the Bodetabek area,” said Djoko.

According to him, the switch from oil-fueled vehicles to electric vehicles, which do not focus on public transportation, is not effective in overcoming the congestion problem in Jakarta.

“The switch to electric vehicles is to reduce exhaust emissions. So, now public transportation is being replaced with electricity, not only Jakarta, including other areas. So, apart from reducing emissions, congestion is also reduced,” said Djoko.

Electric public transport

Therefore, said Djoko, if the government’s encouragement for citizens to switch to electric vehicles will only increase the number of vehicles and in terms of traffic density, then this will only have a bad impact.

“Jakarta, why don’t people want to take public transportation because they are comfortable with motorbikes? Buy a ticket to ride a motorbike. Buy anything by motorbike. We’re too lazy to walk. In Indonesia or Jakarta, motorbikes are predators of public transport. If you switch to electric two-wheelers “or electric motorbikes will only make Jakarta more congested,” said Djoko.

Thus, Djoko asked the government to expand electric public transportation, instead of encouraging people to buy private electric vehicles. “The number of motorized vehicles is already very large in Jabodetabek, but the population of public vehicles is decreasing,” said Djoko.


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