Indonesia Launches $2 Bn LRT for Greater Jakarta
Indonesia officially operates the first Greater Jakarta light rapid transit (LRT) connecting the nation’s capital with several satellite cities after it was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo on Monday, August 28, 2023, at Cawang Station, East Jakarta.
The US$2.13 billion LRT was lauded as a step toward reducing chronic traffic congestion and deteriorating air quality in Jakarta.
"Every day, 996 thousand vehicles enter Jakarta, creating traffic jams and pollution. That's why we operate the MRT, LRT, KRL, TransJakarta, BRT, and airport train. We want all our people to switch from private transportation to mass transportation," said the president in a press release issued by the Ministry of Transportation.
The 42-kilometer-long new LRT network has 18 stations spread out over two lines, the Bekasi Line and the Cibubur Line. Both lines have their starting points at Jatimulya Station in Bekasi and Harjamukti Station in Depok. Both lines come to an end at Dukuh Atas Station in central Jakarta.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, the trip takes 39 minutes from Jakarta's Dukuh Atas Station to Cibubur's Harjamukti Station. Meanwhile, it takes 43 minutes to get from Jakarta's Dukuh Atas Station to East Bekasi's Jatimulya Station.
At the start of its operation, the Greater Jakarta LRT is targeted to carry around 137,000 passengers. Its transport capacity in one trainset with six carriages is 1,308 passengers.
The Directorate General of Railways (DJKA) has set a Greater Jakarta LRT tariff promo, a discount of 78 percent, or Rp 5,000 (roughly US 30 cents), for all services. The promo rates, which use government subsidies from the Public Service Obligation (PSO) scheme, will be valid until the end of September 2023.
After the promo ends, the government will impose a maximum tariff of Rp 20,000 for the farthest distance and under Rp 20,000 for distances other than the farthest distance. This tariff scheme starts from the beginning of October 2023 until the end of February 2024.
The proposal for the LRT system in Jakarta resurfaced after the Jakarta Monorail development project, which was first started just about two decades ago, stalled. Much like the main goal of the monorail, the Greater Jakarta LRT also aims to reduce congestion in Jakarta.
The groundbreaking of the Greater Jakarta LRT was carried out on September 9, 2015, by President Joko Widodo. According to its original plan, the project is to officially start operations in November 2021.
However, this did not materialize due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was postponed to August 17, 2022. A postponement occurred again on July 27 and on August 18, 2023, following some safety issues that were rectified for the final, official operation at the end of August 2023.