Kamil expressed hope that with the free ticket, residents from all groups can experience the comfort and sophistication of high-speed railway technology.

"Those in villages, children, or those who want to go for a picnic, as long as you can win 'the free ticket war' ... you can experience the trip," the governor stated.

Moreover, Pandjaitan invited residents living in proximity to the project to experience high-speed train travel realized through bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and China.

Though the system is not 100 percent ready now, the government has already planned to expand the network on the grounds that Indonesia can develop the expansion independently by transferring technology and expertise through the KCJB project.

Meanwhile, some 400-600 Indonesian workers are currently in China to study train maintenance and operation.

The coordinating minister expects downstreaming in various related sectors to be realized to allow Indonesians to support the railway system with their might.

Moreover, Kamil said that the high-speed railway network would be expanded to East Java. After Jakarta-Bandung, the route will continue to Kertajati, Yogyakarta, and Surakarta, and end in Surabaya.

Despite inviting pros and cons, the project remains a breakthrough in Indonesia's transportation system, and only by seeing the final result can anyone determine whether the project has been successful, he stated.

"A new lesson requires sacrifice. Hence, I believe the next phase of the high-speed railway development will be much cheaper, faster, and more dynamic," Kamil remarked.

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Translator: Bagus Ahmad R, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Anton Santoso
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