A string of unfinished projects across the capital has frustrated Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama. (Reuters Photo/Nyimas Laula)

Construction Starts on Greater Jakarta Light Rail Project

BY :CARLOS PAATH

SEPTEMBER 09, 2015

Jakarta. President Joko Widodo on Wednesday inaugurated the start of construction of the country's first Light Rail Transit system, which aims to better connect Jakarta with its satellite cities.

"Indonesia's infrastructure sector is still behind, especially the infrastructure development for mass transportation," Joko in his speech during the groundbreaking ceremony in East Jakarta. "We must expedite this, and now is the time."

"Let the construction of the LRT train system commence," added the president, who is popularly known as Jokowi.

Kiswodarmawan, president director of state constructor Adhi Karya, which was appointed on Sept. 2 to work on the LRT project, was also present at the launch.

"The LRT is one of the rail-based means of transportation that is eco-friendly and built to operate above the roads and highways," the official said.

Adhi Karya, which has been assigned to build facilities such as flyovers and stations, will work on two routes of the LRT: the first phase, which is targeted to be completed in 2018, stretches 24 kilometers, connecting Cibubur to Cawang and through to Dukuh Atas. The second phase, which is set to start in the fourth quarter of 2016 but which should also be completed by 2018, connects East Bekasi to Cawang and Dukuh Atas, a total distance of some 18 kilometers.

The government expects six sets of trains to be able to transport 24,000 passengers per hour. Average speed on the LRT line would be 60 to 80 kilometers per hour.

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, West Java Governor Ahmad Heryawan, State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno and National Development Planning Minister Sofyan Djalil also attended the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday.

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