"Later, the railroad line will continue from Makassar to Manado. For now, the railroad will connect Makassar to Parepare first, and what we are currently inaugurating is the route from Maros to Barru," he said in Maros district, South Sulawesi, on Wednesday.
The Makassar-Parepare railway project is a part of the Trans Sulawesi Railway megaproject, he informed.
Once the project is completed, it will increase national competitiveness, he said.
He further said that the construction of the Makassar-Parepare railway line would help resolve traffic congestion as well as support the connectivity of people and services at a low cost.
Currently, traffic jams are being reported in big cities in Indonesia, he noted.
The congestion in several big cities is due to delays in building public transportation or mass transportation, he said.
"It is late, even though in basic transportation to connect between provinces, cities, and districts. Therefore, we decided to build the railroad," he added.
He said that due to delays in the building of mass transportation for passengers and goods, all parties tend to use private vehicles. Because of this, dense traffic jams occur in all cities.
"In Jakarta, we are 30 years late in building public transport. We already have MRT, but it is only one line and LRT, which has not been running. In Jakarta, we face traffic jams every day because of a delay in building public transport," he highlighted.
The Makassar-Parepare Railway Project has become one of the national strategic projects (PSN), he noted.
According to data from Finance Ministry, the value of the Makassar-Parepare Railway Government Business Cooperation (PPP) project is Rp1 trillion.
Earlier, the Ministry of Transportation said that the Makassar-Parepare Inter-Maros-Barru Train has been received enthusiastically by the public. The train project has been operational since October 2022 and has transported 25,699 passengers as of March 2023, with an average occupancy of 78.02 percent of the total capacity of 90 passengers using tourist trains.
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