Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo inaugurated the first phase of Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) on April 24,2019. The project was funded by the Japan International Corporation Agency, while the construction itself was done by two consortia of local and Japanese companies.
The 16-kilometer transit line connects the downtown area of Jakarta (Hotel Indonesia) to its Southern region at Lebak Bulus. The Jakarta MRT can transport up to 130,000 passengers per day, with a total of 16 six-car trainsets. The journey will take 30 minutes from first to end, with 13 stations along the route. Ticket fees vary from 70 cents to USD 1, depending on the number of stations taken.
Shortly after the inauguration, the president presided over the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the second phase of the MRT, which is an 8-kilometer northward line planned to be completed by 2024. The Sarinah-Kota line will have seven underground stations. A separate rail network, worth USD 2.4 billion, is also being built to link Jakarta with satellite cities.
Jakarta has been battling traffic congestion issues for years, costing the city an estimated USD 6.5 billion per year for lost in productivity and wasted fuel. Jakarta is home to about 10 million people with 30 million living in its greater metropolitan area. An estimated of 1.4 million people commute to Central Jakarta for work daily.
(Sources: Straits Times; Japan Times; Jakarta Globe)