By international standards, Surabaya has an extremely high mode share of private motorized trips (predominantly motorcycle) relative to per capita incomes, despite the fact that average trip distances “as the crow flies” are extremely short. Non-motorized trips are nonetheless a critical part of the transportation system, while collective forms of transport are much less important than in other regional cities of similar income and density. Motorized travel speeds are currently high for a central urban area, indicating a relatively efficient long distance travel system. Short distance travel, by contrast, is quite inefficient, as indicated by exceptionally high detour factors for short urban trips (under 3km). This is due primarily to the one-way traffic system, but complicated by the weak secondary street network, safety problems on the main arterials, and lack of infrastructure for non-motorized traffic. Access problems resulting from inhibited short to medium distance trips are addressed somewhat by the presence of vendors along major arterials, greatly improving access for small commodities, but creating conflicts with both motorized and non-motorized traffic flow in some locations. However, even low income people are forced to use motorized travel even for extremely short trips, leading to conditions where the working poor spend an estimated 20% of their household income on transport. Improved conditions for non-motorized travel in the study area would yield $250,000 in benefits to these low income families each year. The vehicles they rely on, predominantly two-stroke engine motorcycles, are also extremely polluting. If the modal split for trips under 3km just in the two study areas in Surabaya were brought to the same level of non-motorized trips as in Germany, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 680 tons per year. Reducing the reliance of the poor on motorized travel, meanwhile, would reduce political resistance to tighter tailpipe emission standards and the removal of oil subsidies.
GTZ, Eschborn (Germany)