Bandung the driving force behind changes to motorists’ behavior

Faced with deteriorating air quality and a growing number of private vehicles plying the streets, the city of Bandung in Indonesia played host to an eco-driving workshop to promote the broader adoption of more environmentally sound and cost-effective driving practices.

The workshop – organized by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Clean Air Asia, the Institute Technology of Bandung and the City Government of Bandung – brought together up to 30 public and private sector representatives, including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, to learn about and practically apply the principles of eco-driving.

Part of the Support for Transport Related Co-Benefit Training and Research in Bandung Project, backed by the Ministry of Environment Japan, the workshop was an important component of Bandung’s efforts to address the city’s worsening air pollution problem, to which vehicular emissions are making a significant contribution. It also helped inform the future development of an eco-driving manual.

According to Statistics Bureau of West Java figures, in 2015 there were 1,215,561 vehicles in the city, of which 8.3 percent were four-wheeled private cars and 91.6 percent were motorbikes; public transport comprised just 0.2 percent of all vehicles.

Clean Air Asia Transport Program Officer Pia Agatep said that driving more efficiently could result in significant improvements in fuel consumption and reductions of CO2 emissions, as well as increase road safety and traffic flows.

“Eco-driving isn’t a silver bullet to achieve fuel savings and reduce emissions, but it is the most practical way to do so,” she said.

IGES Senior Policy Researcher Ryoko Nakano said improving driving behavior would help mitigate climate change and benefit the environment through reductions to greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the watchful eye of eco-driving expert Heru Sugiarto, participants were required to twice navigate an 11km route through the city – the first before the training and another following – to gauge changes in their on-road behavior. Five were named the most fuel-efficient drivers and three were recognized for improvements to their fuel consumption.

The project will determine the overall impact of the workshop by comparing the results of pre and post-training surveys that include a logbook in which participants record their daily driving activity and fuel consumption.