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Indonesia to Implement Congestion Tax
Jakarta, Indonesia to begin implementing congestion tax in 2013.

ERP toll gantry
Indonesia is set to become the next country to implement a congestion tax in its capital city. The provincial government in Jakarta announced on Sunday that the legislation required to set up the electronic road pricing (ERP) system has been adopted and the program will be put in place next year.

"It doesn't take long time, as long as Jakarta government has prepared the implementation draft technically," Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo said.

Under the proposal, every vehicle will be tracked by an electronic transponder known as an "on board unit." When the device passes under a toll gate, money will be deducted from the driver's account. The toll is meant to replace the "3-in-1" carpooling system that required three passengers for every car in designated areas within the business district during peak hours. The city also has moved to ban parking on major streets. These restrictions have angered business leaders since they were introduced.

With 10 million residents, Jakarta has some of the world's most congested streets, but automobiles are comparatively rare. Motorcycles serve as the primary means of transportation in Jakarta with 6.7 motorcycles registered compared to 2 million personal automobiles. According to a provincial government survey, 54 percent of residents only have a motorcycle for transportation, 19 percent have both a car and a motorcycle, 4 percent have only a car and 23 percent have neither.

The road-pricing plan is meant to cut down the number of automobile trips by 30 percent while generating millions from car owners to fund a monorail system and other public transportation projects. Details have yet to be released, but the tax is estimated to be as much as 21,000 rupiah ($2.20) per trip at introduction.

The congestion tax has been controversial where implemented elsewhere in the world. In London, England, a portion of the congestion tax zone was eliminated in 2010 after a government survey showed 62 percent of residents and 86 percent of businesses said they wanted it gone. In Manchester, a referendum on implementing road pricing went down by a 4-1 margin in 2008. Over 1.8 million UK citizens signed an official government petition opposing national road pricing in 2007.

Many attempts made to bring congestion charging to the United States have failed.

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