Sutiyoso sure water taxi is a winner
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

As Sutiyoso’s time as governor draws to a close, the people around him are working against time to ensure his plan to establish an inland water transportation system gets off the ground by the middle of the year.

City transportation agency head Nurachman said Friday the water taxi’s Ciliwung River route — from Karet in Central Jakarta to Manggarai sluice gate in South Jakarta was a well-chosen pilot program to gauge the appeal of water-based transportation.

“We hope passengers can try out the 4.2-kilometer route as early as June,” he told The Jakarta Post.

“The city public works agency is currently in the process of repairing the West Flood Canal, which intercepts the Ciliwung, to make way for the water taxi service.”

The administration has so far built water taxi stops in Karet Belakang, Dukuh Atas and PD PAL Jaya subdistricts.

The administration also plans to construct riverbank stations, where passengers will be able to make ticket purchases.

The type of vessels that will be employed has yet to be announced.

Despite his deputy, Fauzi Bowo, challenging the suitability of the system given the fact that many of the city’s rivers are silted up with mud and rubbish, Sutiyoso is convinced it’s a good way to ease traffic congestion on city streets. He is determined to see the service offered before his term ends in July.

Ciliwung River is the largest of the 13 rivers that cut through the capital.

All 13 rivers are seriously polluted.

The Jakarta Environmental Management Agency (BPLHD) said the water taxi service could actually improve the state of the city’s rivers.

“We would constantly be monitoring the water quality and would certainly make it a priority to get rid of the stench. We’re also planning to landscape the banks so commuters can enjoy a nice view,” said Ridwan Panjaitan, the head of air pollution control at the agency.

The water taxi service is part of the city’s integrated MRT project, comprising also the busway, subway and monorail systems.

Sutiyoso’s first project, the busway, was launched two years ago.

There are currently seven corridors linking a number of areas of the city. Another eight corridors are under construction.

The monorail, meanwhile, will comprise two lines — the green line and the blue line — and cost an estimated US$650 million.

The 14.3-kilometer green line will run through Central Jakarta and South Jakarta, from Jl. Rasuna Said and Jl. Gatot Subroto to the Sudirman business district, and then to Senayan, Jl. Pejompongan and back to Jl. Rasuna Said.

The blue line will link Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta to Roxy, West Jakarta.

Meanwhile, the planned subway would run from Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta, to Kota in West Jakarta.

It is expected to cost US$800 million.