Makassar, South Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi joined the trial run of the Maros-Pangkajene and Islands railway line in South Sulawesi ahead of the commencement of the system's public operations.

"(The trial) is to increase public confidence in the Trans-Sulawesi railway. They could visit tourism attractions accessible from railway stations (in the system), such as the Rammang-Rammang tourism attraction," Sumadi said in Pangkep, South Sulawesi, on Friday.

The minister and his entourage boarded a tourist train from Maros Station to Pangkajene Station and Rammang-Rammang Station to visit the Rammang-Rammang tourism attraction.

He said that the launch of the limited operation will allow South Sulawesi residents to get acquainted with the new transportation mode in their region.

"(The operation) will be opened gradually, and the ticket fare will not be levied in December 2022," Sumadi informed.

The railway line that has been opened for limited operations since October 2022 is the 66-kilometer Garongkong Station--Mangilu Station line, which serves 7 stations. Residents can access the tourist train serving the route.

The authority is also planning to provide bus transport from Ramang-Ramang Station and Maros Station to Makassar's Sultan Hasanuddin Airport through the buy-the-service scheme from February 2023 to achieve transportation integration and assist residents and tourists visiting attractions along the bus route.

Meanwhile, the 80-kilometer Maros Station-Garongkong Station line and the 66-kilometer Tonasa-Garongkong line are scheduled to open to the public in March 2023, while the 84-kilometer Mandai Station-Garongkong Station line serving 10 stations is expected to open next May.

The railway line in South Sumatra is expected to bolster connectivity between Maros District, Pangkajene and Islands District, Barru District, Makassar City, and Parepare City.

The 142-kilometer Makassar-Parepare railway line is a part of the Trans-Sulawesi railway mega-project connecting all provinces in South Sulawesi.

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Translator: M Darwin Fatir, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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