This article is concerned with existing proposals for improving public transport in Jakarta. Although Jakarta has a long history of transport studies, with more than 25 studies undertaken since 1975, public transport has experienced no obvious improvement. This article critically evaluates existing proposals, with the focus on how they attempt to address problems related to bus transport. The analysis reveals that, by adopting the standard Urban Transport Planning (UTP) process developed in the context of Western industrial cities, the transport studies have been largely directed towards inappropriate technology-transfer solutions. The studies uniformly propose replacing the existing bus system with short-term solutions that implement 'bus priority' schemes. The analysis also reveals that, rather than planning coherently, the proposals for Jakarta have been highly fragmented and lacking in detail. This is due largely to the nature of the studies, that regard bus improvement as a temporary measure prior to the implementation of a mass rapid transit (MRT) system, and also because of their over-reliance on market mechanisms, claiming that such mechanisms will allow 'self-correction' of the problems.
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