Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has denied suggestions that becak (three-wheeled pedicabs) from various regions of Indonesia are flocking into Jakarta after he announced plans to revive the use of them in the city.
Following the announcement of the governor’s plans for the previously banned becak, images have spread of large numbers of becak gathering in the capital with some claiming that the pictures proof that the becak were from other parts of Java. “So that is not becaks charging in. They are becaks that are in Pejokan. So data was being collected, data collection of the becaks, and then stickers are put on the becak so that they are identified. This is to collect data on how many becaks are in operation,” said Governor Anies at City Hall, as quoted by BBC Indonesia.
Anies recently signaled plans to bring back becak by preparing special routes for the human-powered vehicles. In the past, they have been blamed for congestion and banned. The governor said that becak were still needed by the people of Jakarta, such as for women going to the market, as it was able to carry bulk loads that motorcycle taxis could not.
Anies added that banning becak had a negative impact on the many drivers who relied on it as their main source of income. According to Jakarta Becak Association Coordinator Rasdulah, the governor’s policy on becak is a fulfillment of his promise to becak drivers during his presidential campaign period to end the ban.
Photo courtesy of Kompas.com, Setyo Adi
For some interesting reading on becak, click here.