Jakarta. The country's first Light Rail Transit system is expected to alleviate the capital's notorious traffic congestion by 30 percent when it is fully operational in 2020, Jakarta's transportation chief said on Wednesday.
The central government recently launched the construction of an LRT line connecting Jakarta with Bogor, south of the capital and announced the construction of another line running east to Bekasi next year.
The two lines will join those constructed by the Jakarta government.
In total, the capital is planning to build seven LRT lines connecting various parts of the city, Jakarta Transportation Agency chief Andri Yansah told a discussion on Wednesday, all of which are set to become operational between 2018 and 2020.
“If all [lines] are constructed simultaneously, around 2020 we can already operate them. So residents [of the Greater Jakarta area] can enjoy a reduction of traffic by 30 percent,” he said. “This is why we are not waiting long [for construction] to commence.”
Jakarta will begin its part of the LRT system by constructing two lines, connecting the capital to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten and another linking South and North Jakarta.
Construction for the two lines is set to begin next year, Andri said, and should be completed before the 2018 Asian Games, which the Indonesian capital will host.
Andri said the city is mulling on awarding the two projects to city-owned construction company Jakarta Propertindo.
The company, known as Jakpro, is largely known for constructing government housing and low-cost apartment projects, which is why, Andri said, the company will serve as an observer for the lines constructed by the central government, awarded to the more experienced state-owned firm Adhi Karya.
Jakarta is also constructing other facilities to support the system such as bridges to connect the LRT to existing transportation modes like trains, the TransJakarta busway system with its dedicated lanes, as well as the partly underground Mass Rapid Transit system which is still under construction.
“The LRT will not stand on its own, otherwise it will not be effective [in reducing traffic]. If the LRT is operational it must be supported by other public transportation modes. There must be synergy between one mode to the next,” Andri said.
The city will also construct more parking spaces in the suburbs, so commuters can park their cars and motorcycles and go to work using the LRT or other public transport options, as the capital is seeking to limit the number of vehicles going through its main streets.
It is still unclear how many parking spaces the city is aiming to build.