The government has, so far, also provided several means of public transportation, such as the Trans-Jakarta bus services and commuter train KRL Jabodetabek to serve the Greater Jakarta or Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) areas.
However, traffic jams persist, and the use of the KRL Jabodetabek as well as the Trans-Jakarta bus services have become inconvenient since they are always crowded during peak hours.
To solve the problem of congestion, the authorities have been constructing the Mass Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit that will connect Greater Jakarta as well as a train connecting the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to the Sudirman Baru Station located in Central Jakarta.
Initially, the airport train had started from the Manggarai railway station, but since work on another project was ongoing at the station, the plan was postponed.
As the construction of the airport train was completed in December 2017, its trial operation was carried out from December 26, 2017, until January 1, 2018, with the ticket priced at Rp30 thousand per passenger per trip, but the normal tariff is currently Rp70 thousand.
Edi Sukmoro, president director of the state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia, informed the press recently that the company had sought feedback from passengers during the trial operations.
President Joko Widodo inaugurated the operation of the airport train at the Soekarno Hatta International Airport Station in Cengkareng, Banten, on Jan 2.
The head of state was accompanied by Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi; State Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno; Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto; Tourism Minister Arief Yahya; Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimujono; and Chief of the National Police General Tito Karnavian.
After pushing a serine button and signing an inscription of inauguration, the president and his entourage rode on the train that took them from the airport to the Sudirman Baru Station in Central Jakarta.
The train to the airport has six coaches, with a capacity to accommodate 272 passengers, and conducts 42 trips per day.
The train makes a stopover at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Batu Ceper Station in Tangerang, and Sudirman Station.
The train is connected directly to a skytrain that will connect to the airport`s Terminal 1, 2, and 3.
From the Sudirman Baru Station, the train starts at 3:40 a.m. local time, while from the Soekarno-Hatta Station, it operates from 6:10 a.m. to 11:10 p.m. local time.
The train offers free Wi-Fi to passengers and is also disabled-friendly.
In his opening remarks, President Jokowi said the government will further develop and expand modes of integrated transportation to ease traffic congestion in Jakarta and the surrounding areas, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated.
"We have not only developed an airport train but we also want private car users to opt for alternative means of mass transportation," President Jokowi stated at the Sudirman Baru Station in Central Jakarta after inaugurating and boarding a train from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Tuesday.
The government is encouraging private car users to use mass transportation modes, such as Mass Rapid Transit, Light Rail Transit, busways, and the airport train, which will be integrated.
"The airport train is ready, and next, it will be the LRT in 2019, and later the MRT connecting the south with the north. (They will be completed) one by one," the head of state remarked.
Jakarta`s notorious traffic congestion has inflicted material losses worth up to Rp67 trillion. Hence, the development of integrated, comfortable, and punctual mass transportation modes is a must for the greater Jakarta areas, including Bekasi, Tangerang, Depok, and Bogor, according to him.
Jokowi lauded the service of the new airport train that he described as good and punctual.
"Yes, we have seen that the train is good and comfortable, with the most important aspect being that it is fast and on time, with a trip lasting 55 minutes," he noted.
The president also encouraged the use of cashless modes of payment, such as through credit or debit cards.
Jokowi expressed hope that the airport train`s ticket price at Rp70 thousand per person per trip would be maintained, and a subsidy would perhaps be provided by the Jakarta administration since the airport train would encourage the public to use it in place of private cars.