Transit Oriented Development: Effective Solution for Traffic Jam in Jakarta?

Transit Oriented Development (TOD) connects residential and commercial establishments with transportation networks, making it easy for people to mobilize around the city conveniently and efficiently.

Upcoming Light Rapid Transit (LRT) station (Anto Erawan - (Jakarta) – Effective Solution for ‘Traffic Jam’ City Jakarta is famous for its notorious traffic jam. Based on a survey by TomTom Traffic Index in 2019, Jakarta ranked 7th in the list of worst traffic jam city.

A report from World Bank in 2019 shows Indonesian cities are among the most congested in Asia Pacific region. The report also reveals that traffic congestion costs the country almost USD4.0 billion a year. Around USD2.6 billion alone are wasted each year for excess travel time and fuel consumption in Jakarta.

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Meanwhile, the rise of urban middle class continues to support the growth on private cars and motorcycles. On the other hand, road infrastructure development could not cope with the growth of vehicles. As the result, it just adds more traffic jams which spread-out to adjacent areas.

At the same time, rising property price in the city continues to push new developments further outwards, which only creates more pockets of urban cores with traffic congestions. As the result, we see a growing number of commuters spend longer trip to work every day—with average travel time now exceeds more than one hour due to long distance between home and work.

Back to The City Living
To cope with this issue, some developers offered a concept of ‘back to the city living’ – where they develop products (mainly affordable apartments) in the city targeting young families and professionals looking for homes near their workplace.

While the concept was remarkably successful, it did not sustain long enough. Land scarcity and rising land price had hindered developers from building more affordable residential projects within the city.

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As properties in Jakarta are getting far more expensive, new developments are now back to the decentralized areas (i.e. Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi or Bodetabek region). With such complexity and challenges, Jakarta needs a better approach to address housing problems and traffic issues effectively.

In our opinion, future residential developments in Jakarta should be integrated with public transportation networks in order to minimize the use of private vehicles. Integrated residential developments in the city is also to avoid high concentration of traffic volume in the city entrances as seen in the morning rush hours and after office hours. In the long run, it would reduce further urban sprawl.

Transit Oriented Development
Furthermore, Transit Oriented Development (TOD) connects residential and commercial establishments with transportation networks, making it easy for people to mobilize around the city conveniently and efficiently.

There are benefits in implementing TOD concept in Jakarta:

  1. TOD initiative does not require new development sites, instead it utilizes existing hubs such as train stations, bus terminals, etc.
  2. TOD maximizes the use of current transport hubs with broader and more vital functions.
  3. Most existing transport hubs have ample land area to generate large scale development.
  4. Most existing hubs are situated in strategic areas – this would provide developments with much greater significance.

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Based on the above, we are optimistic if TOD concept can be adopted as an integral part of Jakarta’s urban planning and widely implemented in various developments, it would have great impact on the efforts to ease Jakarta’s traffic problems and at the same time, supplying more quality residential stock to fill-up the backlog and accommodate demand for the rising affluent population.

Prospective TOD Locations
After the opening of MRT Jakarta in April 2019, there are a lot of optimism and rising confidence that Jakarta will develop into a more friendly metropolitan city with better public transportation infrastructure as in other global cities.

The first MRT line had also attracted interests from investors to build or link their projects to the line as people began to see the importance of having efficient transportation system. Subsequently, several BUMNs (State-Owned Enterprise) and developers began to plan TODs along the MRT corridor between Lebak Bulus and Thamrin. Among the first projects that capturing these benefits are Plaza Blok M and South Quarter.

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Aside from MRT line, Jakarta also has other existing public transportation networks, servicing the population in the region from the colonial period. Jakarta Commuter Line (KRL) is a mode of transport which has the largest users in the region servicing the line from Depok (south of Jakarta) and Serpong (west of Jakarta). In our view, several stations along the KRL line has a huge potential to be developed as TOD and could make significant contribution to the city.

There are also other transportation hubs around Jakarta that potential to be developed as TOD, such as city and inter-city bus terminals, TransJakarta bus terminals, Railink Airport train station, and the upcoming Light Rapid Transit (LRT) station network.

With TOD concept, the government would be able to design better urban activity centers (i.e. for residential living, facilities, commercial centers, leisure and entertainment etc) in order to improve city development and image. For developers and investors, TOD concept can be used as marketing theme to attract buyers due to potential benefits linked to transportation networks.

This article is taken from research by Savills Indonesia entitled “TOD Prospect in Jakarta”.

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