Jakarta’s long-awaited Light Rail Transit (LRT) network took a step closer to completion today, as city-owned transportation company PT LRT Jakarta began a free public trial run of the service. During the trial run, all five of the LRT stations (North Boulevard, South Boulevard, Pulomas, Equestrian and Velodrome) will be open from 5.30 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
To join the service, passengers first need to register through LRT Jakarta’s official website, where they can choose a date for travel and book their seat. After registering online, they will then receive an e-ticket via email. This can then be exchanged for a single-trip ticket at their nearest LRT station.
“The purpose [of the trial] is to familiarise people with this new mode of transportation,” said LRT Jakarta corporate communications manager Melisa Sucianti in an interview with Antara news agency on Saturday.
The current LRT network spans 5.8 kilometres from Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta, to the Jakarta International Velodrome in the east of the city. According to project planners, each LRT trainset will consist of two cars that will be able to carry 270 to 278 passengers each.
The standard LRT fare has already been set at Rp 5,000 (35 US cents), as stipulated in a Gubernatorial Decree on MRT and LRT ticket prices, making the LRT – when it is finished – an affordable and convenient alternative form of travel for both residents and visitors to Indonesia’s crowded capital.
Jakarta’s Provincial Government, which has been responsible for the project, has not yet confirmed a date for LRT Jakarta’s commercial operation. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has previously stated he is not in a hurry to officially launch the LRT, saying he would rather wait until it is ready and fully tested.
The Jakarta LRT project aims to tackle Jakarta’s major traffic problem, which makes navigating the city during peak hours a major challenge. This landmark trial of the LRT is a positive move towards seeing the project opened to the public.