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Car Free Day ineffective in reducing air pollution: Committee

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by September 23, 2017 General

Jakarta’s Car Free Day, which has been implemented for 15 years, is considered ineffective in efforts to reduce air pollution in the city.

Committee for the Phasing Out of Leaded Fuel (KPBB) executive director Ahmad Safrudin said that while Car Free Day had helped reduce air pollution along Jl. MH Thamrin and Jl. Jenderal Sudirman, air pollution had increased in other areas of the city.

“The air pollution might reduce around Sudirman, but it increased significantly in Casablanca because during Car Free Day as people who usually traveled via Sudirman-Thamrin were rerouted to Casablanca,” Safrudin said as quoted by kompas.com in Jakarta on Friday.

He said Car Free Day was aimed at reducing people’s dependence on private vehicles; however, unlike in Singapore, Bangkok in Thailand and other cities in Europe, it did not work.

“Few people in Jakarta are willing to use bicycles or switch to public transportation,” Safrudin said.

The Jakarta Environment Agency’s environment laboratory head, Diah Ratna Ambarwati, said there was a significant difference in air pollution levels during Car Free Day and normal days.

“During Car Free Day, air pollution is reduced by almost 70 to 80 percent,” Ambar said.

She said that in 2015, air pollution during Car Free Day declined by 75 percent. The pollution level declined 65 percent in 2016 amid increased construction activity in Jakarta and the increased use of private vehicles in the city. (dis/ebf)

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