Jakarta MRT Seeks to Change Commuting Habits

Wihana Kirana Jaya, special adviser to the Ministry of Transportation, speaking during the 2017 Indonesia Economic Forum in Jakarta on Thursday (23/11. (JG Photo/Amal Ganesha)

By : Amal Ganesha | on 1:41 PM November 24, 2017
Category : Business, Transportation

Jakarta. The Indonesian capital aims to encourage residents to change their commuting habits with the development of an integrated transportation system, including the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit project, which broke ground in 2013.

"Our dream is for Jakarta to have integrated transportation, managed by a smart system, by 2045. We use as a benchmark, London's bus, commuter train and subway systems, which are all integrated," Wihana Kirana Jaya, special adviser to the Ministry of Transportation, said during the 2017 Indonesia Economic Forum in in Jakarta on Thursday (23/11).

"But, first of all, we need to change people's mindset to get them to use public transportation. I predict indeed, that people will change," he added.

Jakarta, with its population of 9.9 million, currently sees nearly 11 million daily commuters, with many coming from surrounding cities such as Bogor, Depok and Bekasi in West Java, and Tangerang in Banten. This results in the capital experiencing massive traffic congestion on most main roads, which is currently aggravated by construction work on the Jakarta MRT and a light rail transit system.

The 15.7-kilometer first phase of the MRT between Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta and the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta, featuring seven elevated and six underground stations, is scheduled to become operational in early 2019.

The city plans to have a 112-kilometer integrated MRT system with more than 60 stations by 2025.

"Traffic congestion is costing us $5 billion annually and it has forced us to develop an integrated transportation system," said William Sabandar, president director of Jakarta MRT. "In the end, there should be an end-to-end transportation service from your home to your office. That's the dream."

However, he said this dream will not come true without support from the relevant stakeholders, including the central government.

"Besides integrated public transportation systems, we also need integrated policies. Without the development of integrated policies, this project will be a waste," William said.

Jakarta MRT plans to add incremental economic value in the areas surrounding its stations with so-called transit-oriented development.

"The MRT will benefit all parties, such as generate more tax income for the government, increased demand for property and of course, the public who uses the transportation service," he said.

"MRT Jakarta is not just an operator; we must collaborate with the business sector, property developers and communities. This is about changing the culture and lifestyle of the people," he said.

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