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2007年VOA标准英语-Jakarta Launches Alternative to Traffic Jams

时间:2007-06-29 01:30来源:互联网 提供网友:may001   字体: [ ]
By Chad Bouchard
21 June 2007

The Indonesian capital of Jakarta does not often draw comparisons to the romantic Italian city of Venice. But city officials would like to change that. They are testing a water taxi service, something like the one in Venice, on one of Jakarta's notoriously polluted rivers. As Chad Bouchard reports from Jakarta, the officials are hoping the taxis will someday help ease traffic in the city and encourage residents to keep the waterways clean.

Muslim women dressed up for Eid, ride in a water taxi towards Sunda Kelapa harbor for Eid prayers in Jakarta (File Photo)
Muslim women dressed up for Eid, ride in a water taxi towards Sunda Kelapa harbor for Eid prayers in Jakarta (file photo)
On a sunny Saturday afternoon, dozens of people wait at a small metal pier1 on the Ciliwung River for a ride in Jakarta 's first water taxi. Many have brought their kids for a family outing.

The little 25-passenger, twin-outboard boat fills up fast. With a toot of its electronic horn, it swings confidently out into the current. A few minutes later, though, the motors fall silent. The left propeller2 is fouled3 with garbage, and has stopped turning.

As the boat begins drifting toward the concrete-lined riverbank, a worker tilts4 the motor up and pulls old clothes, plastic bags and nameless slime from the blades.

It takes a few tries, but the motor finally catches again.

Jakarta's first water taxi, the Kerapu VI, was once used as a ferry among islands

Jakarta's first water taxi, the Kerapu VI, was once used as a ferry among islands

This first water taxi is more for amusement than serious transportation. It operates for only a few hours on weekends, and only makes a short loop on the river. However, the city hopes to add more boats to Jakarta's 13 waterways, and create an integrated commuter5 network that will offer an alternative to the roads.

An estimated four million vehicles clog6 Jakarta's roadways, and the demand for personal vehicles is growing 11 percent each year.

Between 500,000-600,000 people bring their cars into the city from outlying areas each day, contributing to pollution and traffic congestion7.

Using the city's canals to ease traffic is the brainchild of Jakarta Governor Sutioso, who hopes the waterways will become part of a mass transportation system over the next few years.

He says the waterway transport should be integrated with the city's bus routes, and connected to proposed subway and monorail lines. The new metropolitan8 system, he says, was designed by foreign consultants9, with the idea of expanding the system to outlying areas.

Water taxis are already a common and efficient means of everyday transport in other countries. The most famous are the vaporettos of Venice.

Closer to home, in the Thai capital of Bangkok, sometimes called "the Venice of the East"  municipal river taxis and ferries carry an estimated 300,000 passengers every day.

Ainsley Jolley, a researcher at the Center for economic Studies at Victoria University in Australia, says that when road congestion reaches a critical mass, as it has in Bangkok, that is when people start to demand solutions.

"Sometimes, as the chaos10 grows worse, the political solutions become a little bit more palatable," said Jolley. "Rising living standards create stronger pressure groups that are likely to look more kindly11 on policies that will work, particularly demand for mass transit12."

Even if the water taxi program is implemented13, there is still that problem of the garbage clogging14 the waterways.


Environmental activists15 in Jakarta estimate the city produces 8,000 tons of trash per day. Public services like garbage collection are limited, so 15 percent of that waste ends up in the canals, and there is little effort to discourage it.

A worker clears garbage from the engine
A worker clears garbage from the engine
Officials say they hope that if the water taxis become an accepted part of the city's transportation system, there will be a demand to clean out the garbage.

Back aboard the boat in Jakarta, a TV cameraman named Prastiyo is checking out the water taxi on his day off. He says he doubts Jakartans will ditch their beloved cars or motorbikes anytime soon, and the trash in the water is one of the main reasons for his skepticism.

He says people will choose land transportation instead of a water taxi because there are a lot of problems, like the garbage that fouled the boat's propeller. He also says the boat is slower than a bus or a regular taxi.

Homemaker Evi Servianti is more enthusiastic about the idea. She thinks boats could provide a pleasant alternative to Jakarta's infamous16 traffic jams. And, like city leaders, she believes the water taxis could inspire people to take better care of the rivers and canals.

She says for the city to clean up, people will have to learn not to throw garbage around. If people who ride the canal boats become more aware of the pollution problems, she says, maybe others will be more conscientious17.

As if to illustrate18 the challenge, a little girl on the water taxi tosses a plastic cup into the water. There is a lot of work to be done before the waterways are clean. To paraphrase19 the old saying, Venice was not built in a day.


1 pier U22zk     
  • The pier of the bridge has been so badly damaged that experts worry it is unable to bear weight.这座桥的桥桩破损厉害,专家担心它已不能负重。
  • The ship was making towards the pier.船正驶向码头。
2 propeller tRVxe     
  • The propeller started to spin around.螺旋桨开始飞快地旋转起来。
  • A rope jammed the boat's propeller.一根绳子卡住了船的螺旋桨。
3 fouled e3aea4b0e24d5219b3ee13ab76c137ae     
v.使污秽( foul的过去式和过去分词 );弄脏;击球出界;(通常用废物)弄脏
  • Blue suit and reddish-brown socks!He had fouled up again. 蓝衣服和红褐色短袜!他又搞错了。
  • The whole river has been fouled up with filthy waste from factories. 整条河都被工厂的污秽废物污染了。
4 tilts 0949a40cec67d3492b7f45f6f0f9f858     
(意欲赢得某物或战胜某人的)企图,尝试( tilt的名词复数 )
  • As the kitten touches it, it tilts at the floor. 它随着击碰倾侧,头不动,眼不动,还呆呆地注视着地上。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
  • The two writers had a number of tilts in print. 这两位作家写过一些文章互相攻击。
5 commuter ZXCyi     
  • Police cordoned off the road and diverted commuter traffic. 警察封锁了道路并分流交通。
  • She accidentally stepped on his foot on a crowded commuter train. 她在拥挤的通勤列车上不小心踩到了他的脚。
6 clog 6qzz8     
  • In cotton and wool processing,short length fibers may clog sewers.在棉毛生产中,短纤维可能堵塞下水管道。
  • These streets often clog during the rush hour.这几条大街在交通高峰时间常常发生交通堵塞。
7 congestion pYmy3     
  • The congestion in the city gets even worse during the summer.夏天城市交通阻塞尤为严重。
  • Parking near the school causes severe traffic congestion.在学校附近泊车会引起严重的交通堵塞。
8 metropolitan mCyxZ     
  • Metropolitan buildings become taller than ever.大城市的建筑变得比以前更高。
  • Metropolitan residents are used to fast rhythm.大都市的居民习惯于快节奏。
9 consultants c6fbb5ca6219111731f9c4c4d2675810     
顾问( consultant的名词复数 ); 高级顾问医生,会诊医生
  • a firm of management consultants 管理咨询公司
  • There're many consultants in hospital. 医院里有很多会诊医生。
10 chaos 7bZyz     
  • After the failure of electricity supply the city was in chaos.停电后,城市一片混乱。
  • The typhoon left chaos behind it.台风后一片混乱。
11 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
12 transit MglzVT     
  • His luggage was lost in transit.他的行李在运送中丢失。
  • The canal can transit a total of 50 ships daily.这条运河每天能通过50条船。
13 implemented a0211e5272f6fc75ac06e2d62558aff0     
v.实现( implement的过去式和过去分词 );执行;贯彻;使生效
  • This agreement, if not implemented, is a mere scrap of paper. 这个协定如不执行只不过是一纸空文。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The economy is in danger of collapse unless far-reaching reforms are implemented. 如果不实施影响深远的改革,经济就面临崩溃的危险。 来自辞典例句
14 clogging abee9378633336a938e105f48e04ae0c     
  • This process suffers mainly from clogging the membrane. 这种过程的主要问题是滤膜的堵塞。
  • And you know that eyewitness that's been clogging up the airwaves? 你知道那个充斥着电视广播的目击证人?
15 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
16 infamous K7ax3     
  • He was infamous for his anti-feminist attitudes.他因反对女性主义而声名狼藉。
  • I was shocked by her infamous behaviour.她的无耻行径令我震惊。
17 conscientious mYmzr     
  • He is a conscientious man and knows his job.他很认真负责,也很懂行。
  • He is very conscientious in the performance of his duties.他非常认真地履行职责。
18 illustrate IaRxw     
  • The company's bank statements illustrate its success.这家公司的银行报表说明了它的成功。
  • This diagram will illustrate what I mean.这个图表可说明我的意思。
19 paraphrase SLSxy     
  • You may read the prose paraphrase of this poem.你可以看一下这首诗的散文释义。
  • Paraphrase the following sentences or parts of sentences using your own words.用你自己的话解释下面的句子或句子的一部分。
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