Monday September 3
Jakarta's touchy 'becak' dilemma
10:00am, Mon: feature
To some, the Indonesian capital's becak or pedicabs are a cheap,
people-friendly mode of transport. To others, they are an eyesore and cause
of traffic jams. Others find pedicab driving an informal job valuable in
The truth is, millions of residents in this megacity of 10 million people
use the colourful, three-wheeled, non-motorised transport for short
''I need becak badly to go the market,'' said Sulastri, a homemaker in Kebon
Jeruk, West Jakarta. ''It is too far to walk, and this road is not served by
''From the market, we would carry a lot of things and it would be terrible
to have to walk to my house from there,'' she added.
But despite its popularity, city officials and some residents consider them
a headache that adds to traffic congestion and draws migrants from outside
the capital - and want them banned from the streets.
Tugiman, who came from Mojokerto in Central Java, has been driving pedicabs
for 15 years. "Becak driving is my job. I cannot do other jobs. If the
government provides me a place to sell things, I will firmly tell them that
I am not a vendor, not a businessman.''
''If they (government) just allows us to pull becak - that has been
providing us jobs,'' he added.
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