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Sustainable Transportation Forum (STF) 2022: Transformation Towards Low-Carbon and Sustainable Transportation Development

February 13, 2023
Three men and two women standing on the stage. Behind them is a panel displaying partners logos.
Image: Left to Right: Representatives from PT Surveyor Indonesia, GIZ GID, Bali’s Transportation Agency, GIZ SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS, and GIZ Indonesia; Speakers and Moderator for the 3rd Session, Implementation of Sustainable Transportation: BRT Preparation (Copyright: GIZ Indonesia)

The Ministry of Transportation of the Republic of Indonesia, in collaboration with the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, supported by the NAMA Facility and the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs of Switzerland (SECO), through the German government’s international development agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, held the Sustainable Transportation Forum (STF) 2022 on 20-21 October 2022. The forum brought together more than 500 policymakers, local government officials, academia, communities, and sustainable public transportation industry actors in more than 20 discussion sessions to inspire, encourage and ensure successful public transportation reform and deliver quality public transit services in Indonesia.

The STF 2022 aimed to create an inclusive and accessible public transportation system. In addition, the forum also sought to address the urgency to transform the urban transportation sector, which is still dominated by fossil-fuel vehicles, to environment-friendly transportation systems through new and revised urban transportation policies and initiatives.

“The Sustainable Transportation Forum (STF) 2022 is a transformative effort to accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation. STF 2022 aims to accommodate and share best practices in the sustainable urban transportation sector and harmonise urban transportation management and policies integrated by Indonesian and world transportation actors. I hope this activity can be a good opportunity for the national government, local government, development partners, and other stakeholders to collaborate in realising sustainable transportation development in urban areas in Indonesia,” said the Director General of Land Transportation, Hendro Sugiatno, on behalf of the Minister of Transportation of the Republic Indonesia, Budi Karya Sumadi, at the opening of the STF 2022.

The forum was attended, both in-person and virtually, by high-level officials, including the Director General of Land Transportation (Mr Hendro Sugiatno), Assistant Deputy for Connectivity Infrastructure (Mr Lukijanto), Deputy Head of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany (Mr Thomas Graf), and Ambassador of Switzerland to Indonesia, Timor Leste, and ASEAN (Mr Kurt Kunz), Director of Road Transportation (Mr Suharto), Representative from SECO (Ms Andrea Zbinden), and GIZ Lead Climate Advisor (Mr Gerd Fleischer).

Three men and a woman playing an instrument.
Left to Right: Representatives of GIZ Indonesia, Ministry of Transportation, SECO, and the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment during the opening ceremony (Copyright: GIZ Indonesia)

Andrea Zbinden, the Deputy Head of the Swiss Economic Cooperation Office (SECO) in Jakarta, conveyed the support from the Swiss Government to the Government of Indonesia through the Ministry of Transportation during the press conference. She stated that the Swiss Government appreciated the joint commitment to achieve sustainable social and economic development in Indonesia through the SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS program, which GIZ has implemented since 2017.

“Cities in Indonesia face various big challenges, especially regarding the quality of public transportation services. We hope that collaboration, especially in the transportation sector, will continue. Through the SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS program, the Swiss and German governments continue to support the Indonesian government in developing a sustainable transportation system. It takes joint efforts and commitment from all related parties to realise sustainable public transportation improvements to be passed on to future generations,” said Zbinden.

Three men and a woman sitting in front of an audience while they give a speech.
Left to Right: Suharto (Director of Road Transportation, MoT), Andrea Zbinden (Deputy Head of SECO in Jakarta), Gerd Fleischer (Lead Climate Advisor, GIZ Indonesia), Achmad Zacky Ambadar (SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS Principal Advisor, GIZ Indonesia) during Press Conference. (Copyright: GIZ Indonesia)

The forum’s first day was designed to provide further insights into a collaborative space from cross-sectors and cross-stakeholders in creating easy access to mobility in urban society. The first session, exploring the Public Transportation Reformation topic, focused on case studies in several pilot cities, the obstacles, and how changes in the transition from private to public transportation can be carried out through the synergy of the national government, local government, communities, and the assistance of various stakeholders, including donor agencies.

During the session, the Director of Road Transportation, Mr Suharto conveyed the national government’s support to the local government in accelerating the mode shift from private vehicle to public transportation through the Buy the Service Program (BTS).

“The Ministry of Transportation is currently assisted by many stakeholders, including donor agencies, to make the BTS program successful and expand coverage areas in other cities. Our focus is to make bus users feel as comfortable as using private vehicles.” said the Director of Road Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation, Suharto.

One of the successful examples from the BTS program was presented by Medan’s Head of Transportation Agency, Mr Iswar Lubis, who stated that the shift from motorcycle to Trans Metro Deli (in Medan) had reached 52 per cent. In addition, he also noted that the Trans Metro Deli has around 48,000 passengers – dominated by women and children, per day. That being said, Medan’s local government is committed to improving the quality of services to encourage an even higher transition. The Public Transportation Reformation session invited representatives from Medan, Surakarta, Semarang, and DKI Jakarta.

The second session discussed the collaboration between national and local governments to accelerate sustainable urban transportation. A representative from the Ministry of National Development Planning (BAPPENAS), Mr Akhmad Faiz Fauzi, stated that, “Although the law has mandated that decentralised mass public transportation becomes the regional government’s responsibility, there is no institution capable of integrating the development and management of cross-modal and cross-administration metropolitan urban transportation. Some local governments have difficulties fulfilling their obligations to provide public transportation services due to the different conditions of each region’s fiscal capacity,”. Therefore, it is necessary to collaborate and optimise resources, including blending finance, to fund public transportation between various sources. In response to the stated fiscal issue, GIZ SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS’s principal advisor, Mr Achmad Zacky Ambadar, presented the findings of the funding options to finance urban transportation systems. This session also discussed the opportunity to finance public transportation using international funding sources through presentations from KfW and the World Bank.

Three men and three women standing on the stage in front of panel displaying different partner logos.
Left to Right: Representatives from the World Bank, KfW, ITDP, GIZ SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS, BAPPENAS, and ITB University; Speakers and Moderator for the 2nd Session, Development of Public Transportation: Step of Collaborations (Copyright: GIZ Indonesia)

The third session, Implementation of Sustainable Transportation: BRT preparation, explored various BRT preparation projects in Indonesia. The National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN) for 2020–2024, mandates the infrastructure development of mass transportation in urban areas as one of the national strategic priorities in improving public welfare. This is in line with the vital role of mass transportation, especially bus rapid transit (BRT), in integrating the Indonesian regions, economic growth, and climate change mitigation. The government is also committed to developing urban mass transit in metropolitan areas, contributing 41 per cent of the national GDP or IDR 5,554 trillion.

Bali’s Head of Transportation Agency, I Gede Wayan Samsi Gunarta, explained that the BRT system named Trans Sarbagita and Trans Metro Dewata had continued to show a spiking trend in passengers with a total of 16,257 passengers as of September 2022.

“Twenty years ago, public transportation, especially buses, dominated the road. However, in 2018, buses were only one-fifth of the overall vehicles. Having said that, SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS has conducted feasibility studies in five cities: Bandung, Semarang, Makassar, Pekanbaru, and Batam. Of course, every city has different needs; nevertheless, the problems are the same, public transportation has not become a priority and cannot compete with private vehicles. Therefore, the quickest and most realistic option is to implement BRT,” said GIZ SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS’s advisor, Mr Maulana Gituri. He later explained that an ideal BRT system consisted of at least an integrated electronic-based payment system, adequate bus and shelter with universal access, and dedicated lanes.

The second day of the STF 2022  consisted of breakout rooms with various topics and transportation actors or practitioners. The topics included inclusive urban transportation planning, non-motorised transportation (micro-mobility), community-based innovations and grassroots movements in transportation, collaborative policy implementation, housing issues and the relationship with urban transportation, public transportation electrification deployment. Participants selected the breakout sessions based on their interests.

One of the discussed topics was inclusivity in the public transportation sector and focused on case studies of implementing bus rapid transit (BRT) as one of the leading modes of transportation (Session 1A). Ms Agita Putri, SUTRI NAMA & INDOBUS’s advisor, stated, “Mobility is vital in daily life to fulfil basic needs. This must be supported by inclusive and accessible transportation modes and systems for all users, including priority users (children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with disabilities). The inclusive and accessible concept starts from the time planning a trip, traveling, to arriving at the destination.”

This session invited representatives from the disability community, PUSPADI Bali, to share their experiences regarding their daily travel. “Not all people with disability can use modified personal transportation or application-based services due to financial constraints. Therefore, comfortable and convenient public transportation remains our top consideration for daily mobility,” said Ms Dayu from PUSPADI. During the session, participants, including people with disabilities and the general public, provided input to the TransDewata operators to effectively acknowledge the importance of inclusivity to improve the BRT service in Bali.

Participants of the event gathered for a group picture.
Speakers and Participants of Inclusivity in Transportation Session, Breakout Room 1A (Copyright: GIZ Indonesia)

The two-days forum was concluded with a closing remark from the Head of Urban Transportation Sub-directorate, Ministry of Transportation (Mr Tonny Agus Setiono). Mr Setiono conveyed that each transportation stakeholder had agreed that sustainable transportation is a common need that can be achieved through a collaborative effort at the local, national and global levels. Some concrete actions were currently underway, both initiated by the national government and local governments in Jakarta, Medan, Semarang, and Surakarta. Various financing alternatives were already available, both financing schemes from the national government and development partners. There had been various structured and long-term programs with multiple development partners, that encouraged the implementation of sustainable transportation. Lastly, these collective efforts were identified to set up a collaboration ecosystem in the development and achievement of sustainable transportation.

Learn more about the NAMA Support Project for the Indonesia Sustainable Urban Transportation Program (SUTRI NAMA) NSP here.

The NAMA Facility is a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), UK Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ), the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (KEFM), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the European Union and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).