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Insight: Projections the Benefits of Jakarta MRT for Indonesia

MRT Jakarta in Lebak Bulus station - Photo by PT MRT Jakarta

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Indonesia has entered a new phase with the launched of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project by President Joko Widodo on Sunday (03/25). A round of economic civilization is dawning from the capital Jakarta.

The entry of new MRT is believed will certainly make development in the capital region more vibrant. Based on data from the National Development Planning Agency, the value of losses due to congestion in the Greater Jakarta reached US$5 billion in 2020, and currently estimated to have reached Rp17.2 trillion per year.

With the operation of the first phase of the MRT, it gives a “glimmer of light” that the government seems to be seriously to encourage economic growth due to congestion in the Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi regions. Because the economic benefits of the MRT project are quite significant in creating new jobs, decreasing travel time and increasing community mobility.

During the construction period, the Jakarta MRT project has employed thousands of employees and is expected to create around 48,000 new jobs. At present there are still around 7.02 million open unemployed people.

Of course this is not comparable to the jobs provided by the government. Therefore, the three phases of development are encouraged to open the widest possible employment opportunities for the unemployed.

Moreover, through the implementation of the transit oriented development (TOD) model, it’s predicted that the MRT system will be able to drive the restoration of the city’s spatial and physical systems.

There are still so many strategic benefits from the operation of the MRT. With the existence of modern transportation that is safe, comfortable and fast will be the lifestyle of the people so that the use of private vehicles can be slowly reduced. This refers to human civilization in big cities in other countries that first had an MRT.

Moreover, if the MRT development is integrated with the concept of developing smart cities, new urbanism and mixed used development, it will make the city compact, efficient with distance, which can have a positive impact on citizen performance, health and quality of life and can reduce air pollution by up to 30 thousand tons by 2020.

For people in the Greater Jakarta area time is the biggest problem. Of course with this MRT, there will be many Jakarta residents who will be helped by transportation.

The MRT which was built along 15.7 kilometers with 6.81 kilometers of which is located underground is preparing as many as 16 trains with six cars in each series. Each series is estimated to be able to accommodate around 1,200-1,800 passengers, so that a total of 280 thousand passengers per day can be transported by this train.

In the Lebak Bulus-Bundaran HI Corridor MRT, the number of passengers is targeted at 412,000 per day in 2020, while for Phase II the Bulus HI-Round Circle Corridor is targeted at 630,000 passengers per day in 2037, supported by Traffic Demand Management and TOD.

Overall, the number of MRT passengers will reach 1.42 million in 2037. If it’s truly utilized, then the crucial problem of Jakarta will be resolved in the next few decades.

The MRT can also drive development vertically because urban space needs and strategic location will reduce encroachment of paddy fields on the outskirts of the city that can automatically reduce flooding.

In addition, the MRT provides an opportunity to increase revenue for the local government in the form of Land and Building Taxes due to the increase in the Tax Object Selling Value. Thus the demand for building will increase especially around the node as a sub-center of urban activities.

As with the results of Hong Kong benchmarking, TOD is designed for 44 percent of residences, 18 percent of offices, 16 percent of retail (culinary, fashion, craft, and music), 12 percent other, and 10 percent of hotels. Since a year ago, the Upper Hamlet TOD has been launched by building a sky-walk to connect the entire area and stations, as well as pedestrians on Jalan Kendal. With that, the area around the transit station can be used for community economic activities.

The government has targeted the MRT development to be completed within a period of 10 years, with an investment of Rp571 trillion (US$40.50 billion), including for spatial planning, settlement arrangement, as well as problems related to drainage in the city. The construction of MRT Phase II, the HI-City Roundabout route with a length of 8.3 kilometers (km) and Phase III in the range of 78 km, is planned to be built this year or early 2020.

In this development project, the government is preparing to implement a public private partnership scheme with a return on user pay investment, the TOD commercial income is used as an additional return on investment. While the PPP scheme with the return of availability payment investment, tariff and commercial revenues from TOD managed pay agents is used to pay for the availability payment Business Entity.

However, to solve the complexity of the problems of economic congestion and losses, the MRT needs to be integrated with other modes of transportation such as the monorail, busway or regular bus. In the future, the MRT will be connected to other modes, namely light rail transit, electric rail, and TransJakarta. This integration will be centered in the Dukuh Atas Station in central Jakarta which is a meeting of three rail-based public transportation modes.

However, its expected that the economic will not only centered in the Dukuh area, but also must be spread throughout the transit area. Moreover, to boost national economic growth, the government also needs to make Jakarta MRT development another model of MRT development in Sumatra, Kalimantan and eastern Indonesia.

With that, economic development becomes more evenly distributed, even though Jakarta remains a driver of the national economy.

Written by Daniel Deha, Email: daniel@theinsiderstories.com