President Joko Widodo has inaugurated Indonesia’s first Greater Jakarta Light Rapid Transit (LRT) system. The system will connect the nation’s capital with satellite cities. This significant milestone represents a crucial step in addressing Jakarta’s chronic traffic congestion and air quality issues.
The LRT project cost a total of US$2.13 billion. Many have praised it for its potential to alleviate traffic problems in Jakarta. President Joko Widodo highlighted the pressing issue, stating that nearly one million vehicles enter Jakarta daily. This number significantly contributes to traffic jams and pollution. To combat this, the government has invested in various mass transportation systems, including the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), Commuter Rail (KRL), TransJakarta, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and airport trains, encouraging a shift from private to public transportation.
The newly operational Greater Jakarta LRT spans 42 kilometers. It features 18 stations across two lines: the Bekasi Line and the Cibubur Line. Both lines originate at Jatimulya Station in Bekasi and Harjamukti Station in Depok, terminating at Dukuh Atas Station in central Jakarta. The journey from Dukuh Atas Station to Harjamukti Station in Cibubur takes 39 minutes. On the other hand, the trip to Jatimulya Station in East Bekasi lasts 43 minutes. Each trainset consists of six carriages and has a transport capacity of 1,308 passengers.
Discounts to encourage ridership on Greater Jakarta LRT System
During the initial operation phase, the Greater Jakarta LRT aims to serve approximately 137,000 passengers. To encourage ridership, the Directorate General of Railways (DJKA) has introduced a promotional fare with a 78 percent discount. The DJKA is offering a fare of Rp 5,000 (approximately US 30 cents) for all services until the end of September 2023. Following the promotional period, the government will implement a tiered tariff system. This will result in a maximum fare of Rp 20,000 for the longest distance and lower fares for shorter distances. This will be effective from October 2023 until February 2024.
The revival of the Greater Jakarta LRT concept aimed to reduce traffic congestion in the city, following the setback of the stalled Jakarta Monorail project. President Joko Widodo initiated the groundbreaking of the LRT project on September 9, 2015. Originally scheduled for operation in November 2021, the project faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After postponements in 2022 and 2023 to address safety concerns, the LRT system finally commenced its official operation in August 2023.
In summary, the inauguration of the Greater Jakarta LRT marks a significant achievement in addressing Jakarta’s transportation challenges. The new LRT system offers a potential solution to traffic congestion and promotes the use of public transportation, contributing to improved air quality and a more efficient urban mobility landscape in the Indonesian capital.