ECONOMY

Jakarta launches first airport train to tackle gridlock

A train is seen along the newly built airport train line linking Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, to the city centre on January 2, 2018. (AFP)

Jakarta launched the first train connecting its international airport to the city centre Tuesday as the sprawling Indonesian capital moves to tackle the gridlock that can make the trip an hours-long headache.

The new system links Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on the outskirts of Jakarta to downtown in 55 minutes, cutting driving time by half or more.

President Joko Widodo inaugurated the new system that officials hope will convince travelers to make the switch from private to public transportation on the 38 kilometer (23 mile) route.

Jakarta is also building its first subway and light-rail systems, with service expected to start in 2019.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo (3rd L) sits in the newly launched airport train along the train line linking Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to the city centre in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, on January 2, 2018. Jakarta launched the first train connecting its international airport to the city centre on January 2 as the sprawling Indonesian capital moves to tackle the gridlock that can make the trip an hours-long headache. (AFP)

“Thank god that after three years and working hard to finish this Soekarno-Hatta airport train, this morning we can inaugurate it and we know that this train is a way to provide transportation in Jakarta to reduce traffic jams,” Widodo said.

The direct link cost 3.6 trillion rupiah ($266 million) with a total of 42 trips scheduled daily. The service is to run from dawn to shortly before midnight.

About 11,000 passengers are expected to use the service daily with three trains plying the route.

Tickets will cost 70,000 rupiah ($5) for the first two months of service, rising to the regular rate of 100,000 rupiah afterwards -- about half the cost of a taxi.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest archipelago nation and Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, has been grappling with a lack of public transportation for years, while Jakarta has seen an explosion in traffic jams that are among the worst in the world.

This week’s inauguration comes about eight months before the capital hosts the 2018 Asian Games, which are expected to see about 9,500 athletes flock to the congestion-prone city.

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Tuesday, 2 January 2018 KSA 18:10 - GMT 15:10
Top
BREAKING NEWS

Send to a friend

Close
Jakarta launches first airport train to tackle gridlock
Friend's name:
Friend's Email:
Sender's name:
Sender's Email:
Captcha Code
How are we doing?
X

How are we doing?

Name Name *
Email Email *
Country Country
Message Message *
Maximum 550 words allowed