Surakarta, Central Java (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi made assurance that development of the commuter railway system will be continued to cater to the residents' increasing demand for proper mass public transportation services.

"In the upcoming five years, we plan to expand the commuter railway network from Madiun, East Java, to Kutoarjo, Central Java. The first phase of the Yogyakarta-Surakarta line will soon be expanded to Jebres Station in east Surakarta," Sumadi noted during the commuter train's special multi-trip card launch event in Surakarta's Solobalapan Station, Central Java on Saturday.

The Yogyakarta-Surakarta commuter line, in its first year of operation, had served 2.2 million passengers that boarded commuter trains, with a 30-minute headway, he stated.

"In Jakarta, the headway between trains is only five minutes, and we plan to make train journeys here more frequent and reduce the current 30-minute headway to only five minutes. This means a six-fold increase in capacity that will attract more residents to utilize the mass transportation," the minister remarked.

Sumadi urged the ministry's officials to coordinate regarding existing public transportation modes to support better integration between the commuter railway system and other modes of transportation.

"I remind the ministry and railway operator officials that railway is a major (means of) transportation for which coordination (with other transportation modes is deemed necessary). Akin to Surakarta, we will expand the railway network, including to Surakarta's Adi Soemarmo Airport, to enhance the reliability of mass transportation for residents now and in the future," he affirmed.

Sumadi emphasized that the ministry's Directorate General of Railways and railway operator PT KCI had persistently striven to comply with President Joko Widodo's instruction to improve and enhance the quality of railway services.

Meanwhile, President Director of PT KCI Roppiq Lutfi Azhar remarked that during the first year of operations of the Yogyakarta-Surakarta commuter rail, some 250 thousand multi-trip cards were distributed to passengers.

The high level of circulating multi-trip cards demonstrated the commuter passengers' increased trust in the cashless payment mode applied in the commuter railway system, he added.

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Translator: Aris Wasita, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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