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Jakarta readies funds for MRT project JAKARTA - The Jakarta administration has earmarked some Rp 135 billion (11.4 million Euro) in its 2006 budget draft for the ambitious mass rapid transit (MRT) network, the first concrete step taken to materialize the undertaking. "I have been informed by Minister (of Transportation) Hatta Radjasa that the construction of the MRT line will begin next year. The project will be financed by a loan from the Japanese government," Governor Sutiyoso said early this week when asked about the budget allocation.

The 32-kilometer MRT will stretch from Kota in West Jakarta to Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta, passing by National Monument (Monas) Park in Central Jakarta. The construction of the Monas-Lebak Bulus section will start in 2006 and is expected to be completed in three years. Sutiyoso submitted last Monday Jakarta's 2006 budget draft to the City Council for deliberation.

Head of the City Transportation Agency Nurachman explained that part of the funds would be used to acquire land for the project and for traffic control prior to and during construction. "Construction of the line will take around three years, therefore we should establish traffic control along the roads affected by the project to minimize traffic congestion," he added. A number of Asian cities, including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Taipei, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Tokyo, have an MRT network.

The Lebak Bulus-Kota MRT project is part of efforts made by the city administration to reduce traffic congestion in the capital. The Monas-Lebak Bulus line will be the first of the two stages of the south-north MRT project in the capital. The second line will run from Monas to Kota. The first stage will include the construction of nine elevated stations from Lebak Bulus to Istora in the Senayan Sports Complex in Central Jakarta and three underground stations from Bendungan Hilir in Central Jakarta to Monas park.

The Lebak Bulus-Monas section is estimated to cost about 660 million Euro, while the cost of the second is yet to be calculated. The MRT project was approved for the first time in 1974. The government was on the brink of materializing it in 1995, after the Japanese government committed to providing funds for the MRT. However, the financial crisis in mid-1997 led to the project's postponement.

The MRT network is estimated to carry some 322,400 passengers per day in 2009 and 440,700 passengers per day in 2015. The city administration began developing the busway in 2002 and currently the city operates one busway corridor linking Blok M in South Jakarta to Kota in West Jakarta. Two more corridors are being constructed -- one from Pulogadung in East Jakarta to Harmoni in Central Jakarta and the other from Harmoni to Kalideres in West Jakarta.

The city administration plans to build four corridors next year. Overall, it plans to have in place a network of 14 busway corridors across the capital by 2010. Governor Sutiyoso preferred to first develop the busway rather than the MRT because it was far cheaper than the MRT. For example, the city has allocated $87.67 million to develop four busway corridors.

In cooperation with a private company, the city is also now constructing two monorail lines, but due to financial problems the projects seem to have stalled. The private company has met difficulties convincing financial institutions to lend capital. Jakarta has already four railway commuter lines, connecting the capital with its satellite cities -- Bogor, Depok, Bekasi, Tangerang and Serpong. Operated by state railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), the commuter lines serve around 500,000 travelers every day.



Posted in General @ 28 November 2005 07:14 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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