Jakabaring Sport City (JSC) Palembang has become a no-go area for cars. Instead, the organizers have provided shuttle buses and non-fossil fuel vehicles such as golf carts.
The entrance gate to the complex is tightly guarded. Motorists were forced to turn around and park their cars outside the sports complex before walking or taking the shuttle bus to get into the sports arena.
South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin acknowledged that the no-car policy had been widely criticized.
“I think a lot of people are still not familiar with the policy and we are still facing some hiccups. But once they know about the policy, there shouldn’t be any problems. We will continue promoting this policy,” he said after inaugurating the South Sumatra Expo on Thursday.
Alex added that he would not back down from implementing the policy despite the complaints and protests. He insisted that the policy had been implemented to create a comfortable sports complex for athletes, officials and guests.
According to Alex, in the next 25 years, South Sumatra would transform its existing coal-fired power plant and fossil-fuel transportation into zero emission technology. He added that he would make sure that the province had cleaner air and an affordable renewable energy source.
“We will start with Jakabaring Sport City. It will be our pilot project in implementing green infrastructure,” he said.
South Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Zulkarnain Adinegara said the police implemented the no-car zone policy for visitors on Thursday. He added that the policy was for the sake of the spectators and competing athletes.
“I have to ride my bicycle inside the Jakabaring. But we need to comply with the rules, including the non-smoking policy,” he said.
PT Jakabaring Sports City (JSC) Palembang CEO Bambang Suprianto said his office had prepared shuttle buses and golf carts, which were provided by Norway.
“In total, there are 20 two-seater golf carts, 15 10-seater golf carts and 15 15-seater shuttle buses operating non-stop in the JSC,” he added.
Bambang said the JSC had created a green area smart city concept since the beginning. Since it is a sports complex, the area must have clean air. Therefore, the operating vehicles must not have fossil fuel energy, but use hydrogen instead.
He added that spectators would be able to use bicycles to ride around the complex.