Indonesia’s road networkOut of all modes of passenger transport, road transport is predominant in Indonesia. With a rising population in urban areas, Indonesia has also experienced a growth in the number of vehicles that comes along with more pollution, traffic congestion, and road fatalities. In 2021, Indonesia’s total road length reached around 550 thousand kilometers with about 81 percent classified as city roads. Utilizing the fact that passenger transport in Indonesia has been dominated by cars and motorbikes, ride-hailing service companies such as Gojek and Grab have soared in recent times. Indonesia’s largest taxi company, Bluebird, also teamed up with Gojek to revolutionize urban transport in Indonesia.
It has not been long since Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, began developing the country’s first integrated public transportation. Starting with its first bus rapid transit system TransJakarta in 2004 and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Jakarta system, Indonesia has been aiming to ease traffic congestion in the capital city. The first phase of the project, from Lebak Bulus to Bundaran HI was finalized in March 2019. The second phase of construction is expected to be completed by 2032.
Expansion beyond Java IslandSea transport is essential for Indonesia’s inter-island connectivity and economic integration. Indonesia’s main islands are well connected by both government and privately-owned ferries. Compared to sea transport, inland waterways play a relatively minor role and are limited to certain areas of Eastern Sumatra, Papua, and Kalimantan. However, as there are no proper roads on these islands yet, traveling by boat is the only way to reach many places within.
For decades, Indonesia has been heavily focusing on its passenger transport across Java Island since more than 50 percent of Indonesians reside here. Finally shifting its focus to other main islands, in 2012, the Indonesian government planned to build toll roads and railway networks that connect cities across other main islands such as Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Papua. The Trans-Sulawesi Railway and Trans-Papua Highway projects are now in progress to be completed and are expected to start operating in the near future.