Kapsch waiting for Jakarta green light

Swedish-based Kapsch TrafficCom says it has signed an agreement with an Indonesian IT firm in preparation to offering electronic road pricing for inner-city areas and highway toll booths.

Kapsch, which first visited Indonesia about three years ago as part of a Swedish trade delegation, signed the deal with Alita Praya Mitra, an information technology unit of local network provider XL Axiata.

The company has also met with Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo and his deputy Basuki Tjahja, to discuss solutions to the capital city’s traffic congestion.

“We see Indonesia as a very interesting country for us in the future,” Goran Andersson, Kapsch’s senior sales manager for emerging markets, told the Jakarta Globe in Stockholm on Thursday.

The Jakarta administration has been mulling various solutions to deter motorists from flooding into the CBD’s overcrowded streets at peak times. One solution is electronic road pricing, which would automatically charge toll fees on cars using roads in the city during certain hours.

The scheme involves identifying vehicles as they pass equipment mounted on gantries above roads to be monitored. This can be done by reading the signal from a transponder box which vehicle owners are required to install, or by reading vehicle registration plates with cameras, or both.

The Jakarta administration had announced it intended to roll out such a scheme during the first quarter of this year, but Kapsch says it is still waiting for the results of the government’s feasibility study.

“What’s important to remember is each city is unique, so the government has to do a thorough feasibility study. Then the technology can be fitted to the needs,” Andersson said. It could take up to three years to go from feasibility studies to commercial use, according to Andersson.

“It’s very dependent on the politicians — not the technology as many people would think, because we could set up systems in eight months but that’s very fast. We would much prefer to have 12 to 18 months for setup depending on how large the system is,” he added.

Kapsch, which uses stereoscopic cameras in its ERP systems, rolled out its fifth generation of ERP gantries for commercial use in Sydney, Australia, and Santiago, Chile, last year. The company controls almost 90 percent of ERP systems in Australia.

ERP is currently Kapsch’s biggest project in Indonesia, but it also hopes to revamp the nation’s existing toll stations through toll road operator Jasa Marga.

Story: The Jakarta Globe     Image: Flickr (Vasenka Photography)