The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | 'Nebeng.com’ offers mutual benefits, efficiency and networking Fri, April 23 2010, 11:25 AM
Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | City | Fri, April 23 2010, 11:25 AM
The absurdity of city traffic can enhance creativity among citizens. Perennial traffic congestion on the Cakung toll road in North Jakarta, with lines of vehicles carrying only a driver, inspired Rudyanto, 36, and his wife Silvia, in 2005 to set up a community of hitchhikers.
“What a waste,” Rudyanto said, commenting on the Cakung road, as hundreds of citizens meanwhile struggled to catch the already packed buses or spent hours commuting on public transport.
Daily traffic congestion, coupled with the hike in fuel prices at the time were also sources of inspiration for the couple to establish the group, which then became a social networking site.
“I believe that people who are familiar with each other will not easily harm people they know,” Rudyanto told The Jakarta Post recently.
To guarantee the safety of both parties, to become a member of the group requires some personal details.
“Not only that, for the sake of mutual convenience they are also asked to provide details if they have a preference of gender, if their vehicles are smoke free, or if the car owners want hitchhikers to share expenses for fuel or tolls,” said Rudyanto, a resident of the Lippo Village housing complex in Tangerang, Banten.
He said the busway and bus feeders connecting the capital with its satellite cities, as well as the air-conditioned trains, did not have a significant impact on community that currently has up to 30,000 members from Jakarta and surrounding areas.
William Henley, a director of PT CIMB Securities company, said he had joined the community around a year ago simply to find trusted hitchhikers for the three-in-one traffic restriction zones he passed through on his way to work at the Jakarta Stock Exchange building in Central Jakarta.
“I can actually use unrestricted roads, but this would take me up to 40 minutes longer to get to work.”
Henley said that since joining the community he had two regular passengers for almost a year and two more passengers in the last month.
“So far I haven’t had any problems related to my passengers. As long as we carefully examine their backgrounds and vice versa,” he said.
“The most important thing is for both parties to inform the other if they change their schedules or something,” he said.
See more at : The Jakarta Post, Jakarta