Jakarta residents and other commuters from the capital city`s satellite towns of Bogor, Tangerang and Bekasi (Botabek) have since time immemorial fought traffic woes every day to reach their offices or other destinations during the rush hours.
With a population of about 12 million, Jakarta also serves commuters with poor conditions of public transportation means, forcing residents to use their own cars or motorcycles that worsened further the traffic.
Jakarta Regional Police data showed that there are about 3.1 million private cars and 8.2 million motorcycles roaming in the city every day. The public transport condition is bad where about 72.34 percent of the 22,000 buses operating in the city are already old and no longer fit for operations.
Data at the Jakarta Transportation Service showed that in 2002 about 61 percent of Jakarta`s commuters still used public transport but the figure dropped to 20 percent by 2010.
As an 'antidote' to the traffic headache, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, or popularly known as Jokowi, is planning to develop a monorail system as a traffic jam `solver` as part of his on-going MRT project in the city.
Now, the prototype of the monorail is on display at Monas. The prototype is expected to explain to the people the future transportation means that could overcome traffic jams. The public can visit the exhibition at Monas for free from June 22 to July 14, 2013.
"I am very delighted with this exhibition which is initiated by PT Jakarta Monorail, because it could popularize Jakarta`s future monorail mass transportation program which will be built soon," Governor Jokowi said when officially opening the Monorail Exhibition at Monas Square on Saturday.
In the meantime, Business Development Director of Ortus Holdings Limited (an investor in the project) Banyu Biru Djarot said the exhibition was expected to inform to the Jakarta residents on the development of the monorail project.
"This exhibition is the beginning of our objective to realize a monorail development project in Jakarta. We want to transform this program into a reality, not just a myth as it used to be," Banyu said.
He expressed his hope that the construction of monorail in Jakarta would proceed smoothly so that its physical construction would start at the end of the year and would fully be operated in 2016.
The exhibition at Monas is being organized as part of Jakarta`s 486th anniversary.
"This exhibition is being held to coincide with the 486th anniversary of Jakarta and to provide the opportunity for the Jakarta residents to observe and to get informed of the monorail development project," he said.
The exhibition, according to Banyu, is supported by three companies namely ST Electronics, China CNR Corporation Limited and PT Indosat.
"ST Electronics is a Singapore company active in the traffic management business and e-government solution. China CNR Corporation Limited is a railway manufacturer while Indosat is one of Indonesia`s biggest telecommunications companies. The three firms have proven to be experts in their respective field," Banyu said.
In the meantime, Technical Director of PT Jakarta Monorail said the exhibition aims to provide as much information as possible for the public in Jakarta.
"We hope that with the exhibition the people will see and know well the monorail project so that they would not have doubts about the mass transportation mode," said Bovanantoo.
In the meantime, Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama hoped that the construction of the monorail project would be carried out immediately.
"The presence of mass transportation system in Jakarta has been badly needed by the Jakarta residents. It is also expected to help traffic woes in the capital city," said Basuki at the City Hall on Friday.
He said that the sooner the transportation system was built the sooner it could be operated. "We predict the construction of a monorail project in Jakarta will last for three years after which it could directly be operated. I am sure that the construction of a monorail would be faster than that of an MRT," Basuki said.
He said that the Jakarta government fully supported the construction of the monorail system which would be carried out by PT Jakarta Monorail and PT Adhi Karya.
"We support both companies in developing the monorail project so that efforts to overcome traffic jam in Jakarta would be made faster," Basuki said.
Last February, it was reported that a consortium of five state-owned enterprises led by construction firm PT Adhi Karya was proposing to build a monorail system.
The construction of the project will be carried out in three years by a state-owned firm consortium, consisting of PT Adhi Karya, PT Jasa Marga, PT Telkom, PT Lembaga Electronika Negara (LEN) and PT Industri Kreta Api INKA
"If the construction permit of the project is issued this month, we hope that the monorail system would be done soon and would already be operated in 2015," State-owned Enterprise (SOE) Minister Dahlan Iskan said last February.
According to PT Adhi Karya which leads the consortium, the first phase of the project would cover 39-km consisting of sections that stretched from East Bakasi (West Java) to Cawang (East Jakarta), Cibubur (East Jakarta) - Cawang and Cawang - Kuningan (South Jakarta).
Adhi Karya President Director Kiswodarmawan said that his company would form a consortium of state and regional government-owned companies to implement the project in two phases.
The first phase was expected to start this year and be finished by 2015, while the second one would begin in 2015. "The first phase is estimated to cost Rp12 to Rp13 trillion," he noted
"We also plan to invest in this project, so the Jakarta administration does not need to think about its funding," Kiswodarmawan said adding that an estimated Rp8 trillion was needed to fund the project.
The consortium will bankroll 30 percent of the project, while the remaining 70 percent will be financed through loans.