Traffic-choked Jakarta to launch MRT operations by next March

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Indonesia’s first mass rapid transit (MRT) rail system is on track to start operations in March next year, giving around 170,000 commuters a day the opportunity to avoid the capital’s insane traffic jams..

It has taken five years, caused even more traffic chaos during construction and cost $1.5 billion, but Japanese and Indonesian contractors are finally on the verge of completing the first stage of the MRT system. So far, nearly 95 per cent of the 15.7-kilometer-long first phase of the south-north route, which runs both elevated and underground, has been finalised.

“We are preparing to operate commercially in March 2019,” William P. Sabanda, MRT’s president, said.

The first phase consists of 13 stations. Seven of them are flyover stations located in Lebak Bulus, Fatmawati, Cipete Raya, Haji Nawi, Blok A, Blok M and Sisingamangaraja, while the underground stations are located in Senayan, Istora, Bendungan Hilir, Setiabudi, Dukuh Atas and Hotel Indonesia roundabout.

Click to enlarge

Plans are to run 16 MRT trains with six carriages each at a time in five-minute intervals from 5am to 12pm.

The MRT is complementing the 230-kilometer Transjakarta Busway network, designed for 500,000 passengers a day, and a future $6-billion light rail transit (LRT) system that will eventually cover 41 kilometers and connect the city center to outlying Bogor, Bekasi and Depok.

There will also be a second phase of the MRT which will extend the south-north line by eight stations, as well as a second line planned to run east-west, connecting suburbs over a distance of 87 kilometers. This corridor is currently in the pre-feasibility study phase and targeted to operate by 2025.

Those urban transport projects are long overdue for Jakarta. The Indonesian capital with its ten million residents and four million daily commuters from outside is among the largest cities in Asia without a modern rail-based people-mover, with experts having predicted a total gridlock by 2020 unless commuters can be weaned away from their cars and motorcycles and on to public transport.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Indonesia’s first mass rapid transit (MRT) rail system is on track to start operations in March next year, giving around 170,000 commuters a day the opportunity to avoid the capital’s insane traffic jams..

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Indonesia’s first mass rapid transit (MRT) rail system is on track to start operations in March next year, giving around 170,000 commuters a day the opportunity to avoid the capital’s insane traffic jams..

It has taken five years, caused even more traffic chaos during construction and cost $1.5 billion, but Japanese and Indonesian contractors are finally on the verge of completing the first stage of the MRT system. So far, nearly 95 per cent of the 15.7-kilometer-long first phase of the south-north route, which runs both elevated and underground, has been finalised.

“We are preparing to operate commercially in March 2019,” William P. Sabanda, MRT’s president, said.

The first phase consists of 13 stations. Seven of them are flyover stations located in Lebak Bulus, Fatmawati, Cipete Raya, Haji Nawi, Blok A, Blok M and Sisingamangaraja, while the underground stations are located in Senayan, Istora, Bendungan Hilir, Setiabudi, Dukuh Atas and Hotel Indonesia roundabout.

Click to enlarge

Plans are to run 16 MRT trains with six carriages each at a time in five-minute intervals from 5am to 12pm.

The MRT is complementing the 230-kilometer Transjakarta Busway network, designed for 500,000 passengers a day, and a future $6-billion light rail transit (LRT) system that will eventually cover 41 kilometers and connect the city center to outlying Bogor, Bekasi and Depok.

There will also be a second phase of the MRT which will extend the south-north line by eight stations, as well as a second line planned to run east-west, connecting suburbs over a distance of 87 kilometers. This corridor is currently in the pre-feasibility study phase and targeted to operate by 2025.

Those urban transport projects are long overdue for Jakarta. The Indonesian capital with its ten million residents and four million daily commuters from outside is among the largest cities in Asia without a modern rail-based people-mover, with experts having predicted a total gridlock by 2020 unless commuters can be weaned away from their cars and motorcycles and on to public transport.

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