Jakarta. Indonesia's first light rail transit system began operations in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Wednesday (01/08), just on time for the 2018 Asian Games.
The 23-kilometer LRT track connects Palembang city center with Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport.
"The Asian Games is one of the reasons why we are building this LRT," Zulfikri, director general of railways at the Ministry of Transportation, told reporters on Tuesday.
Six of the 13 LRT stations are ready for the games, which will start on Aug. 18. The stations are equipped with elevators and escalators as the track in Palembang is elevated.
The LRT project in Palembang cost Rp 10.9 trillion ($755 million).
Palembang will be co-hosting the Games with Jakarta, where the LRT system is expected to start operations on Aug. 10.
The track, which connects the cycling venue in Velodrome and Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, is 95 percent complete, said Dwi Wahyu Daryoto, the president director of Jakarta Propertindo, the LRT developer.
"It will be opened on Aug. 10. Right now, we're awaiting certification by the Ministry of Transportation," he said on Tuesday.
Dwi said that the company and Jakarta's provincial government are still negotiating LRT ticket prices. It is possible that LRT ticketing system will be integrated with Jakarta's bus system Transjakarta.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Sandiaga Uno said the prices are still being discussed with other stakeholders.
"What we should do now is statistical testing and certification. There are also several days left to ensure safety and user-friendliness. Obviously, this is also an effort to support the Asian Games' success," he said.