Urban Mobility among Lower Income Communities in Jakarta : A Study of the Bus Rapid Transit System
Urban planning research in developing countries has often focused on slum upgrading. Lately environmental issues have become increasingly important as well. Hence, transportation is an important field, as basis for the development of cities in developing countries, yet few studies on transport for the urban poor in developing countries have been conducted. Studies, which have been conducted, identify mobility as an important attribute for peoples employment opportunities, and, therefore, improving their living conditions. In Jakarta, transportation is, along with the battle against flooding and poverty, one of the most important issues for the future. This study explores the field of urban mobility in low-income communities in Jakarta, by looking at the newly implemented Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, through an explorative, descriptive and part explanatory approach. The BRT has been implemented to ease the chaotic traffic situation in Jakarta. But, in literature, BRT systems are argued to benefit the lower-income population as it provides cheap and fast transportation. The field study concludes that the BRT is used with restriction among the low-income residents, who were interviewed, due to several reasons. It infers that the BRT routes do not suite the travel patterns of the residents, besides, the fare including transfer costs becomes expensive. Consequently, the BRT has yet to make a significant impact on the low-income residents in Jakarta.
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