Welcoming Jakarta MRT

Many people say “finally!”. Meanwhile many others post on their Instagram showing their excitement to be on MRT. Crowds are immediately flooded in almost those all new MRT stations.

Well, it’s so natural to see this “mass hysteria” to welcome Jakarta MRT which has been waited for so long by this one of megacities in the world. With 10 million inhabitants in Jakarta itself or more than 28 millions inhabitans in Greater Jakarta based on 2017 data, this capital city urgently needs mass rapid transit system before the possible traffic gridlock in the future.

MRT feasibility had already been discussed since mid of 1980s. Each governor in each era had left his continuous progress. It had passed from a discourse to researches, from dynamic political and economy condition including severe economic crisis in 97-98 to a hope to execute it.

Governor Joko Widodo (who is now Indonesia President) left a significant leap of MRT milestone. He began the groundbreaking in 2013.

After being waited patiently, as well as excitedly, finally Jakarta MRT opened the public trial since March 12. It was welcomed by a huge enthusiasm of people. With the first phase of development with 13 stations spanning from north to south and 15.7 km in length, Jakarta MRT would be soon a part of new culture of city which is also known as J-Town or the Big Durian. The fare itself is determined by the distance. For the farthest distance (Bundaran HI to Lebak Bulus), it costs IDR 14,000 or only around USD 1.

This first phase had been being continued by the second one immediately after Jakarta MRT was officially inaugurated by president in March 24.

The first phase itself has built elevated and underground stations with lines stretched from Lebak Bulus to Bundaran HI (Hotel Indonesia Roundabout). The second one will be from Bundaran HI to Kota. Meanwhile, the third phase (east-west line) is from Ujung Menteng of East Jakarta to Kalideres of West Jakarta. At the end, Jakarta MRT is expected to stretch across over 108 km.

I am personally very happy to experience Jakarta MRT for the first time. With the existence of this transportation device which is also called as Ratangga (an ancient Javanese language for war chariot), I believe there will be many new opportunities that arrive. With more efficient time to travel, people will be potentially more productive. Those who know Jakarta traffic will understand it so well.

Jakarta MRT for me is a symbol of hope. It is more than encouraging people to move to public transportation. It also brings the message that infrastructure is essentially needed to develop a city and a country as well. I hope that myself and many other people can take this moment to forecast much more optimistic Indonesia in the future.

– March 23, 2019 –

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