Bangkok (People's Daily) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially inaugurated the country's first MRT (mass-speed transit) line in Jakarta on Sunday, calling on citizens to adapt to a new culture of mass transportation.
Joko Widodo, Indonesia's president, center, taps a ticket on a fare gate inside the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Istora-Mandiri station during the inauguration of the rail system in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday, March 24, 2019. (Photo: VCG)
Widodo was accompanied by DKI Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, Minister of Transport Budi Karya, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti and others.
"Today marks the beginning of a new era as the first phase of MRT operations officially begins," Widodo said before hundreds of Jakarta citizens during Car Free Day. In the past 12 days, members of the public have enjoyed the MRT's trial run for free. The MRT will officially start commercial operations on April 1.
Phase 1 of the MRT Jakarta project covers 13 stations along a 15.7-kilometer route from Lebak Bulus terminal in South Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle. The groundbreaking ceremony for the second phase was marked today, which will span 7.8 kilometers, connecting the Hotel Indonesia traffic center to Kota Station, west of Jakarta. The project is expected to be completed by 2024.
The new transportation project cost $6.2 billion, which is covered by a loan from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency. The MRT starts from eight trains transporting 65,000 people a day, but is planned to operate 16 trains that will transport 130,000 people a day. There are also plans to extend the line northward. The administration's overall plan is to create an integrated public transportation system, including MRT, the light rapid transit system, and the airport train.
Cover image: Minister of Transportation of Indonesia Budi Karya Sumadi (2nd-L), Minister of Finance of Sri Mulyani (3rd-L), President of Indonesia Joko Widodo (4th-L), Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan (4th-R), Vice President Japan International Cooperation Agency Tanaka Yasushi (3rd-R) push the bell to mark the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit opening ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 24, 2019.