LRT projects expected to spread to other cities

Jakarta : The government is expediting the development of Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects in Jakarta and Palembang hoping they would be finished and operational before the 18th Asian Games in the two cities next August.

However, the development of LRTs in the Capital City of Jakarta and the South Sumatra Provincial Capital of Palembang is being carried out not only to welcome the Asian Games but also expected to serve as a trigger for the development of the same transportation system in other cities in Indonesia.

"Actually, building (LRT) is not just because of the Asian Games. It is only a trigger. The construction of LRT in Palembang (and in Jakarta) is an example of mass transportation in urban areas," Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi stated in a written statement in Jakarta on Tuesday.

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.

Moreover, to advance this transportation system the lifestyle of urban commuters like motorcyclists should be changed and switched to using trains. "LRT is a new technology. How do we attract motorcycle users to use LRT?" It should have a new concept that gives an appeal to people wanting to use LRT, thereby changing lifestyles," Minister Sumadi pointed out.

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.

The minister cited Palembang as an example of the pilot cities for development. It is a city which is able to anticipate a planned mass transition system. The LRT is an example of the latest mass transportation not yet found in other cities. "This is a leap for Palembang as a bigger metropolis," said Sumadi.

According to him, the governments Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is evidence of its commitment to carrying out development in Indonesia. "The LRT is expected to serve as an inspiration, or an example of planned mass transportation modes for other areas," Sumadi said.

The LRT development now in Palembang has reached 78 percent with a total length of 23.4 kilometers across 13 stations.

The stations are Opi Station, Jakabaring Station, Bestari-Polresta Governor Station, Ampera Bridge Integrated Station, Cinde Market Station, Dishub Kominfo South Sumatera Station, Palembang Icon Station and Daewangan Demang Lebar Station.

The Palembang LRT project is expected to be finished before the 18th Asian Games kicks off.

"The LRT is expected to be operational in June 2018. I have come here to assure the preparations for the operation. We have assigned an integrator consultant to integrate all functions and interests here. This project is a new one in Indonesia," Minister Sumadi.

The minister called on stakeholders to coordinate with regard to the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) so that the urban management would function well and generate income to the city.

"I ask the Directorate General of Railways and the team to prepare well on how the passengers, feeders, and TOD generation work, because we want LRT Palembang to be an example for a city development," he stated.

"By the end of February, the train will arrive, and we will start commissioning from March to May. After that, we hope that in June, it would be 100 percent operational, with all stations and with three points of trip generations, namely Jakabaring, Airport, and Lippo.

In the meantime, there are two LRT lines being developed in Jakarta, namely the Jabodetabek LRT (Jakarta and its satellite towns of Bogor, Depok, Tengareang and Bekasi LRT) and the Jakarta LRT.

The Jabodetabek LRT will depart from Bogor, Bekasi, Cawang, Kuningan and terminate at Sudirman Station, while the Jakarta LRT will depart from Kelapa Gading, Rawamangun, Manggarai and also terminate at Sudirman Station.

According to Maritme Affairs Coordinating Minister Binsar Pandjaitan, the Jabodetabek LRT will be on trials in April 2019. "We want that in April 2019 trials are carried out. It would be operational in October 2019," Pandjaitan said during the signing of the contract for the procurement of the LRT trains worth Rp3.9 trillion on Thursday last week (Jan 18).

The development of LRT in Jakarta and Palembang is a trigger for the development of the same transportation system in Indonesia. In the future, the government plans to build LRT in the next four cities of Bandung, Makassar, Surabaya, and Medan.

"The four cities are the priority for LRT to be built. Surabaya, Bandung, and Medan already have feasibility studies," he explained.

Source: ANTARA News

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