Participants of the Busworld Academy Conference on “Making Bus Transport
Systems Attractive, Efficient and Affordable in South East Asia” gathered in
Jakarta from 20-22 March 2019 and voluntarily adopted this Jakarta Declaration.

Public Transport plays an essential role in a countries’ economic growth, competitiveness, balanced and livable spatial development; it is also critical for social inclusion and improved quality of life. Ensuring adequate and better targeted funding and innovative financing for sustainable transport is critical to deliver on this potential. Access to safe, affordable, inclusive and sustainable transport is essential for economic structural transformation and social and spatial development.

The world no doubt has made significant progress in connecting people, firms, cities and countries to the global economy, however these efforts have been insufficient to grant access to jobs, markets, education and health services for all. Moreover, where action has been taken, the ¨business as usual approach¨ has led to huge social, environmental and economic costs in terms of road accidents, greenhouse gas emissions, congestion, pollution and noise.

This situation is not acceptable. Need for a collective responsibility to ensure that today’s transport policy and investment choices preserve and enhance people’s lives and support the sustainable development of our cities and countries. Buses and coaches as part of the overall public transport have been shaping sustainable mobility for more than a century. Buses as an integral part of the public transport system are the most common way to move people over short and medium distances in towns and cities, as well as in most rural areas. They play a very important role in social cohesion; helping people, especially those with low incomes, low access to education, work and healthcare. Buses are often the only transport option for people who don’t drive, have disabilities or live in remote areas.

A key link in the mobility chain, is often a bus or coach that takes people to their final destination once they get off the plane, train, tram or boat. They also play a crucial role in connecting different modes of urban transit. Coaches move people comfortably across long distances and allow people to explore new places through tourism. They are often the only means of long-distance transport for much of the world’s population.

With minimal investment, new routes – across towns or across countries – can be launched. Buses and coaches are the most flexible, affordable and adaptable form of passenger transport. Buses and coaches also have a lower footprint per passenger than any form of individual motorized transport. With fleets being constantly renewed – at up to 10% per year in many countries – buses and coaches are leading the way in implementing new low emission technology.

Buses and coaches account for 55% of public transport in Europe, over 45% of all passenger transport in Turkey, and 751 million passenger trips annually in the USA. The bus and coach industry employ around 8 million people in Europe. More than 21 million people work directly in China’s bus and coach industry. Over distances of between 500 and 1,000 kilometers, buses and coaches have the lowest cost per passenger of any kind of transport.

Transport services that include buses and related infrastructure are essential to achieving most, if not all, SDGs. The 2030 Agenda states that sustainable transport systems, along with universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services, quality and resilient infrastructure, and other policies that increase productive capacities, would build strong economic foundations for all countries.

Transport contributes directly to five targets on road safety (Target 3.6); energy efficiency (Target 7.3); sustainable infrastructure (Target 9.1), urban access (Target 11.2), and fossil fuel subsidies (Target 12.c) emphasize that sustainable transport is not needed solely for its own sake, but rather is essential to facilitate the achievement of a wide variety of SDGs. Transport also contributes indirectly to many SDG targets that inter alia include air pollution (Target 3.9), sustainable cities (Target 11.6), climate change adaptation (Target 13.1), and climate change mitigation (Target 13.2).

The South East Asia region comprising of 11 countries that include: Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, East Timor, Lao PDR, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Myanmar and Thailand, is experiencing high economic growth on one side and facing critical problem of environmental sustainability on the other.

The population increase in the ASEAN region has caused rapid urbanization and the vast increase in the private vehicle ownership in line with economic growth that is eventually contributing to air pollution, traffic congestion and road accidents which are the major concerns for the sustainable urban development.

Most of these countries do not strategically respond to these challenges of urban transport. Countries such as Indonesia do not have National Urban Transport Policy. The lack of public transport services causes a serious barrier for economic development and sustainable growth. Therefore, most countries in the region require systematic development of public transportation.

To reform the bus system, ASEAN megacities need to improve bus operations, facilities, vehicles, and culture. Bus stations and lanes should be repaired and substituted with exclusive lanes for a better environment for bus users. Old vehicles also need to be replaced with high-quality buses such as double-decker buses, electricity buses, and online electricity vehicles (OLEVs).

The government should regulate and support private bus companies with performance and service evaluation systems, and ASEAN megacities generally need to use private bus companies to provide bus services. Accordingly, ASEAN megacities should have a high level of monitoring and enforcement systems for bus operation companies. In addition, a standard cost system needs to be built for the efficiency of bus companies.

Finally, ASEAN megacities need to create a sustainable business model for private bus operations. The model should utilize the profit maximization motive of the private sector by relying on a free market system with limited public support while preserving public interest. Thus, ASEAN megacities should try commercial approaches to meet the needs of citizens so that they can make it possible to be less dependent on government subsidies in providing bus services.

Declaration on commitments

We, the participating countries, international and national institutions and organizations, city government representatives, non-government organizations, private sector and industry groups, and professionals working in the field of urban public transport, have met at the Busworld Academy South-East Asia conference, held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 20 to 22 March 2019 to share global knowledge and experiences of public transport with ASEAN member countries.

The conference discussed the futuristic transportation solutions for South East Asia business approaches for efficient running of BRT systems, introduction of electric busses and better safety and traffic management and innovative mechanisms for financing.

We would like to express our voluntary commitments to:

  1. Strengthen sustainable transport policies in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and Promote Sustainable Urban Mobility for Safe, Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable Cities through Public-Private Partnerships.
  2. Transitioning towards sustainable transport in support of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
  3. Promote integrated land use and transport planning to ensure sustainable mobility for all sections of the society.
  4. Promote technologies and business models for implementation of zero emission bus transport.
  5. Promote innovative urban design for reduction in air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and preservation of the environment, and reduce climate change impact.
  6. Promote critical decarbonizing transport policy options in the Southeast Asian
    countries and other regions.
  7. Promote sharing of knowledge and best practices of the bus sector in the region.
  8. Share knowledge, financial and technical assistance available at international level for promotion of e-Mobility and encourage the role of private sector for expanding e-mobility services, particularly electric buses.
  9. Support policies for obtaining operational excellence and digitalization for sustainable bus transport.
  10. Promote appropriate technologies in bus transport to ensure zero emission and
    adopt low carbon technologies.
  11. Fostering a conducive ecosystem for sustainable growth of the passenger transport.
  12. Consider creating a dedicated funding instrument to support research, pilot projects and the deployment or demonstration of innovative projects that improve the efficiency of the bus transport chain.
  13. Ensure a taxation and charging systems that provide incentives and rewards for innovation and service quality in bus transport sector.
  14. Promote BRT systems for strengthening sustainable transport mechanisms.
  15. Support PublicPrivate Partnership as one of the ways to mobilize resources towards sustainable transport development.
  16. Create a uniform regulatory and policy framework for ease of doing business including (a) safety and traffic management and (b) emission and free fossil fuel energy.
  17. Promote safe, efficient and affordable bus connectivity between rural and urban areas in order to create enabling environment for improving rural economy as well as to ensure better accessibility for low-income communities, farmers, women, youth and other vulnerable groups so that “no one is left behind”.
  18. Work towards fulfilling the aspirations under the “Bali Declaration on Vision Three Zeros‐Zero Congestion, Zero Pollution, and Zero Accidents towards Next Generation Transport Systems in Asia”, adopted by the 7th Regional EST Forum in Asia held in Bali, Indonesia in 2013.

While promoting bus transport, we stand committed to address the following:

  1. Safety: Enhancement of road safety, including safety of bus travel, by designating national institutions to establish and monitor compliance with appropriate safety standards.
  2. Comfort: Improve commuter comfort and travel times by allowing buses to have priority at intersections, introducing mandatory give-ways at bus ways, creating full-day bus lanes, using more energy-efficient buses and having dynamically responsive transit systems.
  3. Accessibility: Improved transport provision is key for improving accessibility to jobs, services, education and training opportunities and social networks. A standard measure of accessibility is essential in determining areas most in need of improvement.
  4. Affordability: Affordability is clearly an extremely important consideration in most developing countries.

Express our resolve of implementing the above commitments in pursuance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (A-A-A-A) and the New Urban Agenda towards sustainable urban transport.

Annex 1:
Bali Declaration on
Vision Three Zeros Zero Congestion, Zero Pollution, and Zero Accidents
towards Next Generation Transport Systems in Asia

We, the participants, who are representatives of member countries of the Seventh Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor‐ Leste, and Viet Nam), international organizations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, nongovernmental organizations, research organizations, and expert sustainable transport professionals, having met at the Seventh Regional EST Forum in Asia and Global Consultation on Sustainable Transport in the Post‐2015 Development Agenda, held in Bali, Indonesia, from 23 to 25 April 2013, adopt the “Bali Declaration on Vision Three Zeros Zero Congestion, Zero Pollution, and Zero Accidents towards Next Generation Transport Systems in Asia”, to give further inspiration and encouragement to all who are working on promoting environmentally sustainable transport in Asia. Realizing this will be helped by zero tolerance to fatalities, congestion, and pollution.

Recalling the commitments to achieve the sustainable transport goals under the Bangkok 2020 Declaration (2010‐2020) agreed upon by the participants at the Fifth Regional EST Forum, held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 23‐25 August 2010,

Noting the Outcome of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) – The Future We Want, which provides the international community with a meaningful framework to develop and implement environmentally‐ protective, safe, economically‐efficient, and socially‐inclusive transport policies, programmes, and measures, leading to more sustainable passenger and freight transport systems and services,

Acknowledging that the frequency and magnitude of natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, landslides, volcanic eruptions, storm surges, and extreme weather events) are on the rise globally, including across Asia, and that transport infrastructure and services are vulnerable to climate change impact,

Raising concern that a majority of developing countries and cities of the region are yet to make climate resilience, mitigation, and adaptation an integral part of their transport (infrastructure and services) policy, planning and development, and recognizing the need for the developed countries to fulfill existing commitments for financial support, technology transfer, capacity‐building, and institutional‐ strengthening for developing countries so as to facilitate introduction of next generation sustainable transport systems in Asia for zero congestion, zero pollution, and zero accidents;

  1. Express our intent to voluntarily develop and introduce more sustainable transport policies programmes, and projects, appropriate to the context of our countries and cities, that will contribute to our common vision of realizing 21st century cities characterized by zero congestion, pollution, and transport accidents, and at the same time, be resilient to climate change;
  2. Call for a Post‐2015 Development Agenda that acknowledges the critical contribution of sustainable transport in realizing sustainable development and addressing the climate change challenges;
  3. Recommend complementing the Bangkok 2020 Declaration with the voluntary and legally non‐binding Bali Declaration;
  4. Call for close cooperation among countries to jointly foster the vision of Three Zeros;
  5. Call for the developed countries and multinational institutions to fulfil their existing commitments for financial assistance, technological transfer, and sharing the expertise and experiences in advancing environmentally sustainable transport;
  6. Call for multilateral financial institutions to adopt more inclusive policies for environmentally sustainable transport; and
  7. Call for relevant international fora to deal with sustainable development to give more serious attention to environmentally sustainable transport aspects.


[1] Jakarta Declaration is a good-will, voluntary and legally non-binding.



Jakarta Declaration is one of result from Southeast Asia Busworld Academy Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia which held on March 20-22, 2019.

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