Mobility as a Right - Building Networks and Fostering Smart Mobility Solutions in Local Government in Asia
The development of climate change has reached an alarming level since the increased use of fossil fuels which produces emissions. One of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions and greenhouse gasses (GHG) is coming from the transportation sector. Reducing air pollution is surely required. Smart mobility provides a strategic solution to create a cleaner environment and at the same time ensure access to public transportation.
Recognizing the urgency of addressing smart mobility, the Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats (CALD) took the initiative to launch the Smart Mobility Project in 2022. This project aims to provide innovative mobility solutions across Asia and offer valuable assistance to local government units. Following the successful organization of two smart mobility workshops in 2022, CALD has achieved yet another milestone with the third workshop held in Jakarta, Indonesia, titled "Building Networks and Fostering Smart Mobility Solutions in Local Government in Asia," from 13th to 16th July 2023. The workshop is supported by FNF Southeast and East Asia and was hosted by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P).
Smart Mobility = Smart Leader
The workshop brought together a diverse panel of experts from various backgrounds. Guiding the sessions were Dr. Harya "Koko" Dillon, an esteemed Transport Sector Public Private Partnership Specialist, and Miguel Karlo Abadines, a dedicated Officer of AltMobilityPH.
During the first session, the panelists provided delegates with valuable insights into the development of Smart Mobility in Indonesia. Yoga Adiwinarto, representing Intelligent Transport System Indonesia, presented the remarkable advancements in public transport in Jakarta, particularly focusing on Trans Jakarta. This system offers a multimodal and integrated transportation solution with the convenience of a cashless payment system.
Initially, the service coverage of Trans Jakarta buses stood at a modest 42% in 2017. However, through continuous efforts to improve accessibility, Trans Jakarta introduced MikroTrans, catering to small roads and expanding its reach. As a result, the combination of buses and mikrotrans has impressively increased the service coverage to an impressive 92%.
From the private sector perspective, Aditya Brahmana from GoJek Indonesia showcased the contributions of GoJek, one of the leading online transportation platforms, offering options for both motorbike and car transportation. GoJek stands out with its diverse payment system, providing users with various convenient choices. Aditya also introduced the latest feature of GoJek, GoTransit, which enables customers to seamlessly combine multimodal public transportation, including trains, MRT, and busses with GoJek's ride hailing options, facilitating a smooth public transfer. This innovation further enhances the overall smart mobility experience for users in Indonesia.
Following that, the Institute for Transportation and Development (ITDP) presented their insights, delivered by Gonggomtua E. Sitanggang. During the presentation, Gonggom emphasized a crucial shift in sustainable transportation, moving away from car-centric approaches to embracing a people-oriented focus. This paradigm advocates for prioritizing walking, cycling, and public transportation, which leads to significant benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and noise pollution. By adopting this approach, we can take meaningful steps towards creating a more environmentally friendly and livable urban environment.
All and all, the consensus among the panelists during the first session was crystal clear: the cornerstone of successfully implementing all Smart Mobility projects lies in having a strong leader with unwavering determination and commitment to drive transformative change.
Challenges in Implementing Smart Mobility
Following the conclusion of the first session, delegates were provided with insights into smart mobility best practices and the challenges faced by local governments in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. The representatives from Indonesia included Mayor Hevearita Gunaryanti Rahayu of Semarang and Mayor Mochamad Nur Arifin of Trenggalek. From the Philippines, the delegation comprised Mayor Bartolome "Omie" Rivera, Jr. of San Mateo, while Romtham Khumnurak represented the Democrat Party Thailand (DP) along with Chala Anusuriya.
Despite being from different regions, these representatives shared common challenges in their quest for achieving smart mobility, including issues related to poor infrastructure, traffic congestion, and limited funding. However, Trenggalek presented a unique scenario as a small city situated in a hilly area, where approximately 92% of public transportation relies on motorbikes. Here, the primary concerns revolve around limited internet connectivity and accessibility. These valuable perspectives from various local governments shed light on both shared struggles and distinctive circumstances, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities involved in promoting smart mobility initiatives.
After the informative presentations and discussions, attention turned to the action plan and future initiatives titled "Mobility for All: A Manifesto of Local Government Leaders of Asia." This crucial stage provided an opportunity for active participation, where ideas and inputs were openly shared, leading to a collective effort in revising the manifesto in a collaborative manner. The manifesto serves as a united call to action, advocating for concrete measures in creating comprehensive urban and rural mobility systems that are inclusive and accessible. The dynamic exchange of viewpoints during this session reinforced the unwavering dedication to effecting positive change while fostering the promotion of sustainable and efficient mobility solutions throughout the region.
On the second and last day, the delegates had the privilege of a courtesy visit to the Jakarta Governor's Office and the headquarters of the PDI-P. The journey involved utilizing the MRT, providing an opportunity to witness intermodal transportation, elevated BRT, and Skywalk in action. The workshop concluded with a memorable farewell dinner hosted by PDI-P.
Participating in the CALD workshop for the first time left a lasting impression. The CALD officers and fellow delegates extended a warm and friendly welcome, fostering an atmosphere where engaging conversations and meaningful connections were effortlessly established, transcending positional differences. It was inspiring to note that despite the presence of high-ranking officials, the voices and inputs of the youth were acknowledged and valued.
Personally, attending the workshop proved to be immensely beneficial, offering a source of inspiration and expanding our knowledge on smart mobility topics. As we gear up for the upcoming climate change project, which focuses on smart mobility, we eagerly anticipate the next CALD workshop, eager to continue contributing and learning from this remarkable platform.
Written by Putu Nuansa Putri Savita Uttari, Program Officer Climate Change of FNF Indonesia.
Edited by Rania Rizkiadinda, Program Assistant Climate Change and Communications Officer of FNF Indonesia.