Jakarta's MRT finally opens, but will it ease the congestion?
- Asian Market
- 7 months ago
Indonesia’s long-awaited first subway has finally opened in the country’s capital Jakarta with the aim of easing the crippling traffic gridlock in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
Minutes after inaugurating the 16km transit line running south from Jakarta’s downtown, President Jokowi presided over a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the second phase: an 8-km northward line planned for completion by 2024. The two projects are being built at a cost of $2.6 billion.
Jokowi said, “Today we will begin a new civilization by operating the first phase of mass rapid transit in Jakarta.”
The line that opened Sunday includes seven elevated and six underground stations built by two consortiums of local and Japanese companies and passengers can ride for free until the end of the month, after whichoperator PT MRT Jakarta will issue tickets with a cost equivalent of between 70 cents and $1.
Jokowi, who is currently running for re-election, told the crowd that he has instructed Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan to begin the next phase of construction of an east-west line covering a distance of 87 km this year.
Jakarta’s first subway line, the latest of many infrastructure improvements across the world’s fourth most populous nation, is aimed at helping it catch up with other Southeast Asian capitals such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Bangkok in public transport.
Jakarta is officially home to about 10 million people however, the population of the greater metropolitan area swells to 30 million.
Jokowi was the Jakarta governor when construction finally began on the project in October 2013, originally planned in the 80’s political crisis and funding hampered any process.
However following last-minute funding by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, it has been predicted that without a major investment in transportation, Jakarta would be overwhelmed by traffic jams by 2020 with annual losses from congestion are forecast to reach $6.5 billion by next year.
That being said, although it is a major step in de-congesting the capital there is still work ahead, with a daily figure of 1.4 million people commuting through Jakarta each day, the new metro system will only manage to accomodate 130,000 commuters on a daily basis by the end of the year as it operates to its full capacity.
Source: Smart Trend Team