In August 2023, Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated Greater Jakarta’s first elevated train line, a USD 2.13 billion project to reduce road congestion and air pollution.
The 41.2 km (25.6 miles) driverless Light Rail Transit (LRT) links urban Jakarta to West Java, Bekasi, and Depok.
A 418 km (260 mile) Commuter Line serves 1.2 million Greater Jakarta residents daily.
Jakarta has been among the world’s worst polluting cities since May and topped IQAir’s charts earlier this month.
The president blamed pollution on heavy road traffic and coal-using enterprises, saying over 1 million vehicles enter Jakarta daily.
He claimed, “Jakarta is always on the top 10 list of cities with the worst traffic jams”. Traffic congestion and pollution are always in Jakarta.”
The capital, with over 10 million residents, features a 16-km MRT line from the south to downtown Jakarta.
Indonesia is creating Nusantara on Borneo island to replace Jakarta as Southeast Asia’s largest city. The president’s legacy depends on the unfinished project, which he will leave in 2024.
Meanwhile, the country has rescheduled the free trial launch of its China-funded high-speed rail line to September 2023, as per a report from the EurAsian Times.
The project, which is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, is worth USD 7.3 billion and had an initial completion target of 2019 but has encountered several challenges, including a USD 1.2 billion cost overrun and operational delays.
“The project aims to establish a 142 km railway line connecting Jakarta, the capital, to Bandung. The consortium PT KCIC, composed of Indonesian and Chinese state entities, has now conveyed the need for an extended timeframe to ensure the safety and convenience of passengers, resulting in the postponement of the free trial run,” commented the EurAsian Times report.
“Initially planned for August 18, a preliminary limited free trial for passengers has been rescheduled to early September. Nevertheless, the complete operational launch on October 1 remains unaffected by this delay, as confirmed by KCIC,” it added further.
Talking about the development, Indonesia transport ministry official Mohamad Risal Wasal told the media, “Safety checks were ongoing as of August 4.”
During Joko Widodo’s China visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored the joint responsibility of both nations to uphold stringent standards for the high-speed railway project’s culmination.
This project, which effectively links Indonesia’s capital city with Bandung, a prominent urban centre and the nation’s fourth-largest municipality, will be the first overseas rail venture to incorporate Chinese railway systems, technology, and industrial constituents.