Friday 27 April 2012

Indonesia: Jakarta jockeys

Jakarta jockeys
In an attempt to alleviate the hideous traffic problem, the city of Jakarta employs a system of car-pooling lanes in rush hour that requires a minimum of three occupants in a car. Instead of increasing the numbers of commuters in vehicles, and therefore reducing the amount of cars on the road, the locals use the scheme to make a bit of money. Pavements close to the 3-in-1 lanes are littered with neat lines of people leaning slightly into the road with their left index finger raised in order to attract the attention of passing drivers. Cars screech to a halt to collect a ‘jockey’ who is rewarded with a fixed fee of 15,000 Rupiah (about £1) at the end of the journey.

Occasionally the jockey can return to their starting location by the same manner, but will usually have to return by bus reducing the overall profit. This routine is continued until the end of the rush hour and then repeated in the evening. Sadly most of the jockeys are young children whose parents cannot afford to send the children to school. Sometimes whole families depend upon this form of income which is seen by some locals as a type of welfare, despite attempts by the police to stamp out the practice.

The driver was taking the scheme one stage further by pointing out various female office workers that would make nice jockeys.

No comments: