Bandung, Indonesia is a popular spot for tourism, studying, and culture, but as the city has grown from its resort town roots, it has developed complex and dangerous traffic patterns, among other persistent problems. Adding to the city’s 2.7 million residents, tourists flocking to Bandung for fashion and food often quickly overwhelm Bandung’s streets, causing traffic jams, accidents and pollution. A recent trip by members of ITDP Indonesia looked deeper into the city’s problems and began crafting plans to address the city’s needs.
Bandung’s iconic, hilly geography exerts a heavy influence on the urban landscape. Narrow, winding streets are common, in turn requiring smaller vehicles to navigate many roads. The most popular form of transit in Bandung is the angkot, a minibus carrying around 14 people. The city of Bandung currently runs 38 angkot routes throughout the city. In addition, the city runs DAMRI, a larger bus services with long routes along major avenues, but with limited overall coverage. In 2011, the BikeBDG bike share program opened in the city, and has great potential to grow.
Yoga Adiwinarto, Udaya Laksmana, and Faela Sufa of ITDP Indonesia recently visited Bandung to survey options for improving public transit and to work with the local community to find solutions to their concerns. Among their findings, they identified a stretch along the heavily trafficked Kiara Condong Road that is serviced by 12 angkot routes, suggesting the potential for a BRT corridor. Further visits to gather more data and develop a formal proposal are being planned.
The ITDP team also met with the operators of BikeBDG and discussed upgrading the system, currently a first generation system with limited docking and rental technology, to a more advanced model. Lastly, ITDP engaged with local public transit organization Riset Indie to discuss options for improving road safety and the efficiency of public transportation. ITDP will soon meet with high ranking city officials to develop the city’s transportation plan. Improvements to Bandung’s transportation infrastructure have the potential to greatly reduce concerns of traffic and pollution, and increase the quality of life for residents and tourists alike.