Starting from Monday, motorists traveling on the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road between the capital and Bekasi, West Java, will have to comply with a new odd-even traffic rationing policy. (B1 Photo/Mikael Niman)

How to Beat Jakarta's Odd-Even Traffic Rationing Policy


DECEMBER 07, 2018

Bekasi/Jakarta. Life is about to get a lot more complicated for anyone driving a private car in the capital and surrounding areas, as the city's odd-even traffic rationing policy is set to be expanded to the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road soon.

Starting from Monday, motorists traveling between Jakarta and Bekasi, West Java, whose car registration numbers do not match the date, either odd or even, will be prevented from accessing the toll road. The traffic police will start fining violators from Dec. 17.

"On the 17th, we will begin taking action, prosecuting drivers of vehicles that do not have the correct registration numbers. For now, we are still creating awareness and asking drivers to turn around if their number plates do not match the dates," Adjutant Comr. Stanlly Soselisa, head of the Jakarta-Cikampek Highway Patrol said, as quoted by Suara Pembaruan.

The Greater Jakarta Transportation Agency (BPTJ) decided to expand the policy to this busy toll road to reduce traffic volumes. The start of the policy's implementation on Monday follows a two-week awareness campaign on social media and the posting of banners at several points. Both efforts have previously been used with success to inform the public.

Former Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama introduced the traffic rationing policy on major thoroughfares in the capital in August 2016 to replace the controversial three-in-one carpooling system, which had been in use for several years, but proved to be ineffective.

Despite initial criticism of the odd-even traffic rationing policy, it has proven to be successful.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi even urged the authorities in Makassar on Friday to consider implementing a similar policy in the South Sulawesi capital to reduce traffic congestion, iNews TV reported.

The authorities meanwhile hope implementation of the traffic rationing policy on the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road would be as effective.

"We hope this policy can effectively improve the traffic flow on the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road, especially on the Jakarta-bound carriageway during the morning rush hour," said Randy R. Lukman, general manager of the Jakarta-Cikampek section at state-owned toll road operator Jasa Marga.

The BPTJ has meanwhile arranged several modes of public transportation, including premium buses, for commuters heading to Jakarta.

The buses are scheduled to depart from the Grand Wisata complex in Bekasi between 5.20 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. daily to several destinations in the greater Jakarta area, including Blok M, BSD Tangerang, Kelapa Gading, Mangga Dua, Tanah Abang, Kuningan, Manggarai, Pondok Indah, Harmoni and Paragon.

The traffic rationing policy and restrictions on the transportation of goods will be supplemented with other efforts, including a crackdown on oversized or overloaded trucks.

Dare to Get an Alternative License Plate for Your Car?

Though the odd-even traffic rationing policy will only apply between 6.00 a.m. and 9.00 p.m. on weekdays, excluding national holidays, it will create some difficulties for commuters who only have one car.

Those scratching their heads on how to still get to work everyday while avoiding traffic fines can either buy a second car, lease a car, or purchase vehicle accessories.

Most people are not in a position to buy a second car, so leasing one could be easier on the wallet and you do not have to commit to buying long-term vehicle insurance. But even then, it is money down the drain.

Although illegal, there are some accessories that are perfect for tricking police officers enforcing the odd-even traffic rationing policy.

As seen in a video that had gone viral on Instagram in late August, there is a device that can automatically switch the license plates on your car with the click of a button.

While this type of accessory would be extremely helpful to motorists, especially those affected by the traffic rationing policy, it is most certainly not recommended as you can land yourself in a lot more trouble than only a fine if you are caught out.

"I just find alternative routes. You can put your car's number in Waze or Google Maps and the app will find you an alternative route," said 26-year-old Vania, who is not planning on buying another car anytime soon.