The world’s WORST traffic title goes to…


Not that we’re surprised, but this time there is significant data to back it up. Castrol, the British lubricant manufacturer, partnered with TomTom to measure the average stops and starts made per kilometer in 78 cities and regions, spanning across North and South America, Europe, Asia (excluding India and Vietnam) and Australia. The data was collected from millions of users of TomTom navigation devices and was extrapolated to determine the average stop-start’s per year based on the average distance driven for the period of a year.

The estimated number of stop-start’s deduced for Jakarta was 33,240 times per driver per year, followed by Istanbul with 32,530 stop-start’s and Mexico city with 30,840. Jakarta’s Governor, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, even concurred that the city’s traffic condition might be amongst the worst in the world. “Of course it is. So long as Jakarta doesn’t have a decent rail-based mass transportation system, we will always be congested,” he said while addressing the media last Wednesday.

In 2014, there were 17.5 million vehicles plying the roads of Jakarta, based on police data, which is a 9.3% increase from the year prior; road ratio, however, had only increased by 0.01%, according to the city’s Transportation Agency.

Jakarta has only one rail-based public transportation – a commuter train – while the rest of the population get around in minivans and minibuses. An MRT system is still under construction and Phase One will only be launched in 2018, while the proposal for a light rail transit is still being considered. Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, has been a longtime champion for reliable public transportation rather than encouraging private vehicles; it was during his time as governor of Jakarta that the MRT project commenced. Read also: Indonesia revs up auto output but domestic sales slide.

One other Indonesian city made it to the Top Ten list, that is Surabaya with 29,880 stop-start’s a year, landing it in fourth place; the only other Asian city to have the misfortune to be in the Top Ten is Bangkok in eighth place with 27,480 stop-start’s.

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