Busy going nowhere
News that Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London, will be given authority to run London’s overground rail services
, thus being able to integrate them with the Underground, set me to wondering if there wasn’t a lesson for our hopefully-soon-to-be-replaced Jakarta Governor.
Firstly, I’ve always admired Ken for his efforts to provide services for the London public rather than a bunch of shareholders seeking profits to subsidise their chauffeurs. The figures on a congestion charge scheme he introduced last year show that congestion in the zone is down
by up to 30 per cent, average speeds are their highest since the 1960s, journey times are more reliable and businesses have benefited, though not all agree.
However, if any British electors reading this agree with my polemic, they’d be well-advised not to vote for the Tories next time round. Last year they urged that money spent on the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan (should) be redirected towards new road building
Jakarta only has 7,500 km of roads, many in appalling, if not downright dangerous, condition for the 4.7million vehicles. If the average vehicle length is 3m, and only 40% of those vehicles are on the road, it’s a macet total
situation. Given that the population is, say, 10 million with the majority too young, too old or, more likely, too poor to drive then it’s clear that it’s the well-off who are responsible for the regular traffic snarl ups. And, per se
, they can afford a congestion charge.
I’ve already praised the new Jakarta busway and sincerely hope that more routes are being planned, such as between Slipi and Cililitan, which serve residents rather than commuters between business districts. But that isn’t enough. We also need an improvement in the rail services. I find it strange that the only online info about Indonesia’s train services
was put together by an enthusiast, albeit a couple of years ago. And the Jakarta City Council gives a nice flashy ad
, but absolutely no information on its transport ‘system’.
Whilst the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit site
only seems to offer details of its company structure, it is possible to download a Singapore Transport Guide
for PC PDAs, whatever they are. (Personally, I prefer to pick up a free map at Changi airport.)
Elsewhere, Manchester trams
have a very passenger friendly site and anyone wanting to use London buses would be well advised to look here
. In fact, there’s info on virtually every city in the world
If a public transport system is to be truly public, it needs current information about routes, frequency and fares. Is that too much to ask?
And before you do, yes, I had another shitty day on the streets.