Jakarta. The traffic restriction based on odd and even numbered registration plates of vehicles will be re-imposed in Jakarta on Monday.
The city’s Transportation Department argued that the traffic volume has returned to the level prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Jakarta Police Traffic Directorate supported the plan, saying the restriction was necessary to limit travels in the capital, where the coronavirus is still raging on.
"The imposition of odd-even traffic rule is complementary to other policies including limitation of office attendance to 50 percent and new work-hour arrangement," Traffic Director Chief Comr. Sambodo Purnomo said on Sunday.
He said odd-even policy applies at 6.00 - 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 - 9.00 p.m. during weekdays, except for national holidays.
“We also encourage the work from home policy to be reinforced because the number of Covid-19 cases in Jakarta has been surging," Sambodo said.
Jakarta Transportation Department Head Syafrin Liputo said odd-even traffic rule is part of the city’s comprehensive mitigation measures against Covid-19 based on a gubernatorial regulation.
"According to the gubernatorial regulation, employers should apply a 50-50 proportion between office attendance and employees who work from home,” Syafrin said.
"The odd-even traffic rule is an instrument by the Jakarta government to limit mobility of persons. An employee whose license plate ending with an odd digit should work from home during even dates, so that he remains at home and doesn’t make non-essential travels [to Jakarta]," he explained.
“Moreover, those who work at offices should be separated into at least two shifts."
A recent assessment by the department found that the traffic volume has increased and even exceeded the level prior to the pandemic at certain areas, he said.
"In Cipete, for instance, the number of vehicles crossing the area averaged 74,000 per day before the pandemic, but it has recently climbed to 75,000 per day. Similarly on Jalan Sudirman near Senayan, the daily traffic volume was 127,000 vehicles in the past and now has reached around 145,000 vehicles," he said.
Syafrin added that since the requirement for travelers to produce a permit was revoked in mid-July, the city has had no legal instrument to restrict people’s mobility.
The city is anticipating an increase in the number of public transportation passengers due to odd-even traffic policy and will increase capacity of public buses and railway carriages, he said.
"A set of MRT train can accommodate 390 passengers under the physical distancing policy during busy hours and current occupancy rate is only around 30 percent. It still has a room for 290 more passengers when car owners shift to public transportation due to the odd-even policy," he said.