Sigit Puji Santosa: Sustainable Transportation System for Nation's Competitiveness

By Ahmad Fadil

Editor -

BANDUNG, – One of the important sectors for Indonesia's advancement is the efficiency of passenger and goods mobility, which is sustainable transportation system. This was conveyed by the Vice Rector of General Administration, Alumni and Communications, Dr. Miming Miharja, while opening a public lecture on Wednesday (7/2) in the West Hall. He said that the sector is linked with the competitiveness of the nation, especially in terms of function and economy. How to create a sustainable transportation system, what aspects should be considered, and what is the role of ITB? To answer that, ITB invited Dr. Ir. Sigit Puji Santosa, MSME, IPU to give a public lecture entitled "Building a Sustainable and Integrated National Transport System."

Dr. Sigit Puji Santosa himself is an influential figure in the world of transportation. Sigit completed his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and he was involved in developing vehicle products under major American companies. Having various experiences, Sigit argues that we cannot continue to rely on technology from abroad. "Indonesia is still facing some classic problems that are difficult to solve, which are congestion, pollution, and dependence on fuel oil," he said.

New Regulation
Having not been able to solve these problems, Indonesia has to face the challenge of the enforcement of a new regulation in America and Europe regarding controlling fuel emissions. In 2025 later in the United States, vehicles that are allowed to be produced are the ones that can travel as far as 56.5 MPG (mile per gallon) or about 24 km/litre. Meanwhile, the products exist in the Indonesian market today still haven't meet these standards.

Condition of Indonesia's Infrastructure
Unfortunately, the condition of Indonesia's infrastructure still cannot support economic growth fully because the growth aspects are incomparable. From year to year, the total number of vehicles increased by 15%, while the total road capacity growth only increased by 4%. The most noteworthy is the graph of fuel consumption and oil production in Indonesia that is inversely proportional, resulting in importing oils from abroad. "I'm saddened by this fact because one of the basic principles of sustainable systems is the minimization of non-renewable resources," Sigit said. If not immediately given a solution, then the economic growth of Indonesia can be hampered.

The National Transport System is Sustainable and Integrated as a Solution
Indonesia needs a system that is easily accessible, safe, comfortable, environmentally friendly, and affordable for the community. The answer is an integrated national transportation system based on electricity. The system is suitable for Indonesia which has one megapolitan city (Jakarta) and three metropolitan cities (Bandung, Surabaya, Medan) in which the citizens have high mobility. Hopefully, in the future Indonesia can have adequate electricity-based vehicles such as electric buses, metro capsules, and LRTs to be able to facilitate the mobility of the citizens.

Back to the initial problem, to improve Indonesia's international competitiveness internationally, Indonesia needs to involve stakeholders in all transport sectors. Better yet, if one can make that happen is the domestic industry sector. Therefore, the industry needs to make shorter product development cycles to pursue rapidly growing trends, as well as maximize virtual product development methods based on virtual simulation to reduce financing and time. "If Indonesia succeeds in creating a sustainable transportation system, let alone meeting the global standards, then we can export our products abroad," said Sigit.

The Role of ITB in Supporting Sustainable Transportation Systems
Research institutions and universities should open up research opportunities to implement product innovation. At present, ITB has established Sustainable Transportation Technology Development Center that houses 8 Faculties / Schools in ITB. This center has been appointed as the Center for Science and Technology Science (PUI-STT) by the Ministry of Higher Education. In addition to cross-faculty cooperation, PUI-STT also works with 6 domestic universities as well as with overseas companies such as USAID/SHERA program with MIT, Royal Academy of Engineering program with Oxford University, and fast train program with Beijing Jiaotong University. Hopefully, with this cooperation, Indonesia transportation system can be better.

Reporter: Vera Citra Utami