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Indonesia’s first subway


floro mercene this is on me

JAKARTA, Indone­sia’s capital, is among world’s most-densely pop­ulated cities. Jakarta is home to about 10 million people, but the popula­tion of the greater met­ropolitan area swells to 30 million. Rising vehicle purchases by middle-class consumers (due to poor access to public transport) are squeezing more and more vehicles onto Jakarta’s unchang­ing road network causing gridlock.

The first underground opened in March this year making a 34-year dream into reality. The opening of seven elevated and six underground stations is seen as crucial to tackle one of the world’s worst congestion. The project, funded through a loan from the Japan Interna­tional Cooperation Agency (JICA), has been planned since the 1980s, but its construction was ham­pered by political crises, red tape and funding dis­agreements.

The line opened is the 16 km transit line running from the heart of the city to the business district in the south, connecting 13 stations. It is expected to move 130,000 passen­gers a day. The second phase, an eight-kilometer extension to the north, planned for completion by 2024, had a ground­breaking ceremony just after the inauguration of the first subway line.

JICA has predicted that without a major invest­ment in transportation, Jakarta would be over­whelmed by traffic jams by 2020. The average peak hour speed has “significantly decreased” to 10km an hour, accord­ing to the transport min­istry. It often can take two or more hours to move 5km in some pock­ets of the city. Annual losses from congestion are forecasted to reach $6.5b by next year.

But it will take sev­eral years for mass rapid transit to make a dent in the congestion. About 1.4 million people com­mute into central Jakarta on work days.

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Written by Tempo Desk

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