Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) rode the Mass Rapid Transit Jakarta (MRTJ), serving the HI Circle-Lebak Bulus route, during a trial run, Tuesday, after First Lady Iriana had boarded the first Indonesian subway the previous day.

Jokowi took a ride on the MRTJ in the company of Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution, Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani, Manpower Minister Hanief Dhakiri, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, and Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.

The president was greeted by the crowd that also keen to be part of the MRTJ trial run. The ride from the HI Circle Station to Lebak Bulus station, stretching 16 kilometers long, took 30 minutes.

The first stage of construction work of the MRT Jakarta began on October 10, 2013, with total investment worth Rp16 trillion.

The MRT Jakarta is expected to ease traffic congestion in the capital city and suburban areas that has caused annual losses amounting to some Rp65 trillion.

An integrated public transportation system, including the MRT, the light rapid transit (LRT) system, Transjakarta, and the airport train, are believed to be the key to addressing the problem of traffic jams in Greater Jakarta,

The second phase of MRT construction, connecting the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to Ancol in North Jakarta, is expected to begin early next year, in parallel with the East-West MRT line, connecting Bekasi in West Java and Tangerang in Banten.

Translator: Bayu Prasetyo, Fardah
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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