Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi Tested Kepala Gading - Velodrome LRT - Photo by Transportation Ministry

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – After the first light rapid transit (LRT) in Palembang, South Sumatera tested by President Joko Widodo on July 13, the government targeting to launch Jakarta’s LRT early August, said one official on Monday (16/07).

The Jakarta Provincial Government is eyeing to introduce the Kelapa Gading-Velodrome LRT as a fully operable means of transportation for the 2018 Asian Games. President director of PT Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro) Dwi Wahyu Daryoto said, the construction of LRT facility and its certifications would be completed in parallel.

The depot of LRT Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, construction is prepared to store 116 train sets which will be integrated for 40 kilometers. Eight sets of Hyundai Rotem LRT units that consist of 16 train wagons have been shipped from South Korea to Jakarta several days earlier. The wagons are currently under rigorous testing before it is introduced to the public.

The Ministry of Transportation has signed an investment contract for the LRT project for Jakarta – Bogor – Depok – Bekasi routes with state-owned construction firm PT Adhi Karya Tbk (IDX: ADHI) and PT Kereta Api Indonesia. The investment value of the project is Rp29.9 trillion (US$2.09 billion) for the procurement of LRT infrastructure, facilities and maintenance.

Mass transportation development is one of the government’s targets to provide transportation convenience and speed to the community, including development in the railway sector. Several projects in rail infrastructure include double track development in Java, Trans Sulawesi railway line, LRT Palembang, airport link rail line.

According to Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, the government aimed to used LRT as of mass transportation for the community after Asian Games event.

So far the LRT project in Indonesia has secured loans from foreign and local bank. Recently, the World Bank is reportedly offering the Indonesian government a loan to fund the country’s LRT developments. According to Sumadi, the loan offers for four major cities namely Medan, Bandung, Surabaya, and Bali.

Traffic gridlocks are a big problem in big cities like those in Jakarta and other big cities in the country. The present of LRT system is therefore expected to offer alternative transportation system which is effective and efficient for urban people.

The existence of LRT is also expected to become a solution to the problem of traffic congestion in urban areas, as well as to increase the mobility and the income of the people. According to Sumadi, LRT is feasible to be built in a city with a population of at least two million people.

In the meantime, there are two LRT lines being developed in Jakarta, namely the Jakarta and its satellite towns of Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi LRT and the Jakarta LRT. This projects now has a liquidity problem and doubtfully ready to operate ahead of the Asian Games.

Indonesia has paid a greater attention to speed up its infrastructure development, including toll roads, ports and railways, affordable housing and power plants. Constrained by limited funds, the country has been facing difficulties in realizing its grand ambitious for its massive infrastructure building.

US$1: Rp14,300

Written by Staff Editor, Edited by Linda Silaen, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com

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