Indonesian Capital Adds Electric Buses to Fight Air Pollution

Jakarta’s provincial government is asking its residents to use public transport and is increasing the number of electric buses on its streets in an effort to reduce the severe air pollution hanging over the country’s capital.

The provincial government is also calibrating traffic congestion solutions such as readjusting traffic light cycle times to reduce queue length and delay times, managing road parking, and prioritising pedestrian and bicycle users.

Currently, the city’s bus rapid transit provider TransJakarta is operating about 52 electric buses in order to support the government’s efforts to reduce air pollution, and the operator has long-term plans to eventually provide a fully electric bus fleet in and around the city.

“The plan to replace conventional buses with electric buses will be carried out to minimise air pollution,” Jakarta Acting Governor Heru Budi Hartono said.

Hartono said his side continues to coordinate with the central government and related stakeholders to integrate public transportation modes in Jakarta in order to encourage people to switch to public transportation.

He also stressed that convenience in using public transportation is a top priority in building an integrated transportation system. For this reason, the Jakarta provincial government, in synergy with the central government, provides subsidies for the mass transport sector.

The provincial government provides subsidies worth Rp4.3 trillion (US$273 million) per year for public transportation, according to a report from Indonesian news agency Antara.

The acting governor’s statement was made in response to Jakarta legislator Justin Adrian, who put the spotlight on Jakarta’s traffic and pollution woes that are estimated to have caused losses of Rp65 trillion per year, or Rp178 billion per day.