Trainset Arrives, Gov’t Push The Completion MRT Before Asian Games

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

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – A Japanese-made trainset consisting of 12 cars has arrived in Jakarta via cargo delivery on Apr. 7, which is part of the equipments needed for the first phase of the Mass Rapid Transit project in Indonesia’s capital city.

The trainset arrival marked a new milestone for the MRT project completion, which groundbreaking ceremony was held in 2013. Delayed several times, now the first phase of the mega-project is set for completion before the 2018 Asian Games opening on August 18.

Japanese train manufacturer Nippon Sharyo, which has produced dozens of types of electric train cars, including for subways and shinkansen bullet trains in Japan, was responsible for the trainset making. The first phase of MRT in Jakarta will extend into a planned 36-kilometer-long (22-mile-long) railway line and keeping the others as spares. So far about 20-km of the railway network has already been built.

“It will be complete in July but fully commercial operations will be from March 2019,” PT MRT Jakarta corporate secretary Tubagus Hikmatullah said on Tuesday (04/10) .

MRT project in Jakarta is an infrastructure project that aims to relieve great traffic congestion in the capital city. Currently, the North-South line of the project is being constructed, while an East-West line is being studied. The North-South line, which will be constructed in two phases, connects Kampung Bandan (in North Jakarta) to Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta), a 23.3 kilometer-long track.

The Jakarta MRT is estimated to cost at least US$1.7 billion and should be fully completed by 2027. The main owner of the project is the local Jakarta government.

Long-Waited Project 

Jakarta MRT concept was first raised around 40 years ago and initially done feasibility study 20 years ago under President Suharto era in the 1990s.

Later, 15 years after Indonesia recover from Asian financial crisis,  Japan offered support to construct the Jakarta MRT  the project has taken off.

After years of underinvestment in Jakarta’s infrastructure, traffic congestion had caused complete deadlocks on streets of several parts of Jakarta on working days.

Joko Widodo who once became Governor of Jakarta in 2012 (assisted by Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as Ahok), finally pushed for realization of the long overdue Jakarta MRT project.

One notorious obstacle to infrastructure projects in Indonesia is land acquisition. Although most of the land that is necessary for the construction of the Jakarta MTR has been acquired, there remain some land acquisition issues, primarily in the southern section of the project which is constructed above ground level. This may cause a delay in completion of the project.