Jakarta. The government expects the country's first light rail transit (LRT) system connecting Cibubur to Cawang in East Jakarta to start operations in March next year, providing a much-needed alternative for commuters, Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said in a statement on Sunday (08/01).
The 14.5-kilometer section is part of a larger project aimed at better connecting Jakarta with its satellite cities, including Bogor, Depok and Bekasi.
"Technical progress is now up to 12 percent on the project. We hope the infrastructure will be completed by early 2018," Budi said.
Budi said the LRT track will use precast technology also used in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
According to Budi, the next stage in the project will be a new track connecting Jakarta and Bogor. This route will relieve some of the congestion on the existing Commuter Line.
KAI Commuter Jabodetabek, the Commuter Line's operator, said it handles on average 850,000 passengers per day on weekdays. Around 30 percent of its passengers come from Bogor.
President Joko Widodo inaugurated the LRT system construction in September 2015. At the time, the government estimated six sets of trains can transport 24,000 passengers per hour with an average speed of 60 kilometers to 80 kilometers per hour.