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Indonesia's Widodo launches greater Jakarta light rail service​

Country's third such project hits $2.1bn after cost overruns, multiple delays

1693406014220.png

A train of LRT Jabodebek, the country's latest light rail system, passes over a highway in Indonesia. The project is entirely state-backed. (Courtesy of Kereta Api Indonesia)

ERWIDA MAULIA, Nikkei staff writer
August 28, 2023 17:51 JST


JAKARTA -- President Joko Widodo on Monday launched a light rail transit network serving Jakarta and two of its satellite cities as Indonesia's capital struggles with traffic and air pollution.

LRT Jabodebek is Indonesia's third such network. The first, in South Sumatra province, was launched in 2018 and runs 23 kilometers. LRT Jakarta followed a year later, covering 5.8 km.

The new LRT Jabodebek service spans 42.1 km. Trains on its two lines stop at 18 stations, connecting a main business district in central Jakarta with the cities of Depok and Bekasi in West Java province.

"Jakarta has persistently ranked among the world's 10 most congested cities," Widodo said during the launching ceremony. "Every day 996,000 vehicles enter Jakarta, causing traffic jams and pollution.

"We hope people will shift to LRT in droves ... so that we can avoid traffic congestion and reduce pollution."

The plan for LRT Jabodebek initially included another line connecting the capital with the city of Bogor, also in West Java. But that line was shelved following multiple delays in construction and cost overruns, some brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president on Monday said costs totaled 32.6 trillion rupiah ($2.1 billion), a considerable jump from around 20 trillion rupiah after Widodo broke ground in 2015.

Back then, the target launch year was 2019.

To finance the project, state-owned Kereta Api Indonesia, the railway's owner, received a direct capital injection from the government as well as syndicated loans, mostly from local banks. State construction company Adhi Karya is the contractor, while state train maker Inka produced the rolling stock.

Government officials have subsequently called LRT Jabodebek "a creation of children of the nation," an allusion to the state-owned enterprises.

The new LRT service is set to deploy 31 trains, each consisting of six carriages and able to carry up to 1,300 passengers per trip. When the system becomes fully operational, the trains will make over 400 daily runs from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The Transportation Ministry plans to attract riders with a subsidy that will cut fares for the longest journey to 20,000 rupiah ($1.30) from 27,000 rupiah.
Jakarta's haze problem is actually much worse than what Widodo alluded to with his statement on congestion: The Indonesian capital was the world's most polluted major city, air quality readings earlier this month by Swiss company IQAir showed.

Widodo is not fooling himself that the new service will make much of a difference. Due to the LRT's limited coverage area, it will not be easy to persuade commuters to shift to public transit, he said.

He noted that Indonesia's single mass rapid transit (MRT) line currently carries 80,000 people per day, well below its maximum capacity of 180,000. Backed by Japan, the line covers 16 km between south and central Jakarta, half underground and half elevated. Another Japan-backed MRT line, one that will span 11.8 km, is currently being built to connect the central and northern parts of the city.

The South Sumatra LRT and the Jakarta LRT services, meanwhile, have sparked criticism due to their low use. Initially targeted to complete in 2018 to support athletes' mobility during the Asian Games hosted by the two provinces that year, the two LRT services failed to launch on time, also thanks to project delays. Now limited routes mean low public interests.

"That's why we're building the MRT, LRT, commuter lines, TransJakarta [public bus network], high-speed railway, airport railway -- so that the public will shift from private to public transport," Widodo said.

Officials in some other major Indonesian cities plagued with similar if not worse traffic problems -- Bandung, Denpasar, Medan and Surabaya among them -- have expressed wishes to build their own LRT lines. So far, however, no concrete plans exist.

Meanwhile, the China-backed 140-kilometer high-speed railway connecting Jakarta and Bandung is slated to begin commercial operations in October, after also being hit with multiple delays. It will be Southeast Asia's first high-speed rail service.

Additional reporting by Ismi Damayanti

 
Last edited:
Transportation

Indonesia's Widodo launches greater Jakarta light rail service​

Country's third such project hits $2.1bn after cost overruns, multiple delays

View attachment 949789
A train of LRT Jabodebek, the country's latest light rail system, passes over a highway in Indonesia. The project is entirely state-backed. (Courtesy of Kereta Api Indonesia)

ERWIDA MAULIA, Nikkei staff writerAugust 28, 2023 17:51 JST


JAKARTA -- President Joko Widodo on Monday launched a light rail transit network serving Jakarta and two of its satellite cities as Indonesia's capital struggles with traffic and air pollution.

LRT Jabodebek is Indonesia's third such network. The first, in South Sumatra province, was launched in 2018 and runs 23 kilometers. LRT Jakarta followed a year later, covering 5.8 km.
The new LRT Jabodebek service spans 42.1 km. Trains on its two lines stop at 18 stations, connecting a main business district in central Jakarta with the cities of Depok and Bekasi in West Java province.

"Jakarta has persistently ranked among the world's 10 most congested cities," Widodo said during the launching ceremony. "Every day 996,000 vehicles enter Jakarta, causing traffic jams and pollution.

"We hope people will shift to LRT in droves ... so that we can avoid traffic congestion and reduce pollution."

The plan for LRT Jabodebek initially included another line connecting the capital with the city of Bogor, also in West Java. But that line was shelved following multiple delays in construction and cost overruns, some brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president on Monday said costs totaled 32.6 trillion rupiah ($2.1 billion), a considerable jump from around 20 trillion rupiah after Widodo broke ground in 2015.

Back then, the target launch year was 2019.

To finance the project, state-owned Kereta Api Indonesia, the railway's owner, received a direct capital injection from the government as well as syndicated loans, mostly from local banks. State construction company Adhi Karya is the contractor, while state train maker Inka produced the rolling stock. Government officials have subsequently called LRT Jabodebek "a creation of children of the nation," an allusion to the state-owned enterprises.

The new LRT service is set to deploy 31 trains, each consisting of six carriages and able to carry up to 1,300 passengers per trip. When the system becomes fully operational, the trains will make over 400 daily runs from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The Transportation Ministry plans to attract riders with a subsidy that will cut fares for the longest journey to 20,000 rupiah ($1.30) from 27,000 rupiah.
Jakarta's haze problem is actually much worse than what Widodo alluded to with his statement on congestion: The Indonesian capital was the world's most polluted major city, air quality readings earlier this month by Swiss company IQAir showed.

Widodo is not fooling himself that the new service will make much of a difference. Due to the LRT's limited coverage area, it will not be easy to persuade commuters to shift to public transit, he said.

He noted that Indonesia's single mass rapid transit (MRT) line currently carries 80,000 people per day, well below its maximum capacity of 180,000. Backed by Japan, the line covers 16 km between south and central Jakarta, half underground and half elevated. Another Japan-backed MRT line, one that will span 11.8 km, is currently being built to connect the central and northern parts of the city.

The South Sumatra LRT and the Jakarta LRT services, meanwhile, have sparked criticism due to their low use. Initially targeted to complete in 2018 to support athletes' mobility during the Asian Games hosted by the two provinces that year, the two LRT services failed to launch on time, also thanks to project delays. Now limited routes mean low public interests.

"That's why we're building the MRT, LRT, commuter lines, TransJakarta [public bus network], high-speed railway, airport railway -- so that the public will shift from private to public transport," Widodo said.

Officials in some other major Indonesian cities plagued with similar if not worse traffic problems -- Bandung, Denpasar, Medan and Surabaya among them -- have expressed wishes to build their own LRT lines. So far, however, no concrete plans exist.

Meanwhile, the China-backed 140-kilometer high-speed railway connecting Jakarta and Bandung is slated to begin commercial operations in October, after also being hit with multiple delays. It will be Southeast Asia's first high-speed rail service.

Additional reporting by Ismi Damayanti

Congrats. A city like Jakarta needs as many LRT systems as possible.
 
Taman Mini Station, East Jakarta, to Dukuh Atas Station, Central Jakarta

 

Newly-Launched LRT Carries Over 30,000 Passengers Daily​



September 9, 2023 | 3:53 pm

Jakarta. The recently inaugurated Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in Greater Jakarta has proven its popularity by ferrying an average of more than 30,000 passengers daily during its first ten days of operation, the government said on Saturday.

The LRT, which provides vital connectivity between Jakarta and eastern cities like Bekasi and Cibubur, commenced limited operations on August 28.

"As of Wednesday, September 6, the LRT has transported a total of 331,947 passengers," Transportation Ministry spokeswoman Adita Irawati said in a statement.

During the semi-trial phase, the LRT fares were set remarkably low, starting at just Rp 5,000 ($0.32). However, starting from October 1, a regular tariff system will come into effect, with the first kilometer costing Rp 5,000 and Rp 700 for each subsequent kilometer.

"Nevertheless, we are capping the maximum fare at Rp 20,000 for all journeys, and there will be potential promotional programs for discounts," Adita said, adding that the government is subsidizing LRT fares.

In the initial days of operation, the daily count of LRT passengers ranged from 5,000 to 7,000, despite facing minor hiccups, mechanical challenges, and initial trial run delays. However, the number of passengers has been steadily increasing.

Upon full operation, the LRT will operate eight driverless trains, with six running on a regular ten-minute frequency and two held in reserve. The government has high hopes for the LRT, anticipating a capacity to transport up to 180,000 passengers daily.

 

LRT JABODEBEK ❗ Backride view from LRT Station Bekasi Barat to Kuningan - JAKARTA ❕ walking around​

 

The Jabodebek LRT During Peak Hours After Normal Fares | A Bustling Scene [4K GoPro]​

 

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