Spokesman of the South Sumatra provincial government Ahkmad Najib remarked here on Monday that the LRT system is in fact being developed for the international sporting event of the Asian Games 2018.
According to Najib, the LRT will be used as a special mode of transportation for participants of the Asian Games, in which 45 countries and members of the Asian Games committee will participate. However, after the international sporting event, the LRT will be used as a means of mass transportation for the people of South Sumatra.
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed relief last Friday after having personally tested the LRT system in Palembang.
"It felt better than when I rode the LRT system in Europe," the president remarked.
"What made me happier is that 95 percent of the LRT system has been built from local content," he pointed out.
Jokowi rode the maiden trip on the LRT from the Icon Mall station along with his wife, First Lady Iriana.
After travelling on the train for around 15 minutes, the president and his entourage got down at the Jakabaring station located in front of Jakabaring Sport City at around 2:40 p.m. local time.
He affirmed that Indonesia should be proud for being able to build an LRT system on its own.
The Indonesian government had decided to build an LRT system to cater to the transportation needs during the 18th Asian Games to be held in Palembang and Jakarta from Aug 18 to Sept 2.
Although initially intended for a short-term purpose, it is now expected to meet the long-term requirements of the city, which is forecast to grow into a major metropolis.
Reporting by Ujang Idrus