Indonesian Capital Starts Monorail Project After Five-Year Pause

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo signed an 8 trillion rupiah ($800 million) contract to restart a monorail project after a five-year hiatus, aiming to reduce traffic jams in the capital of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Jakarta awarded the contract to PT Jakarta Monorail, which is expected to complete the project in about 3 years, Widodo said at a monorail exhibition in the city today. The first such project was halted in 2008 after it failed to obtain funding support, Sukmawaty Sukur, operational director at Jakarta Monorail, said.

“This will be a part of the solution to solve the city’s traffic problems,” Edward Soeryadjaya, chairman of Ortus Holdings, the majority shareholder of Jakarta Monorail, told reporters during the exhibition.

Indonesia’s economy expanded 6.02 percent in the three months through March, with Jakarta contributing about 16 percent of that growth, government data show. Domestic vehicle sales rose 23 percent to 1.1 million units last year, according to data compiled by PT Astra International, the nation’s biggest car seller.

The monorail will have two lines running through the capital, a 14.2-kilometer (8.83 miles) blue line connecting Kampung Melayu with Tanah Abang and another 14.8-kilometer green circle line from the Casablanca area to Rasuna Said, according to the Jakarta Monorail website.

Construction is expected to start in October, Sukur said. The monorail will also link with a separate monorail project to be built by the government, she said. PT Adhi Karya, PT Jasa Marga and PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia are among the state companies that plan to build a 9 trillion rupiah, 54-kilometer monorail project connecting Jakarta with Cibubur and Bekasi, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said Feb. 7.

Jakarta ranked 181 out of 221 cities for personal safety in a survey conducted in 2011 by advisory company Mercer that rated internal stability, crime levels and law enforcement effectiveness. The city ranked 140 in overall quality of life, below Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Manila.

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