Government says Jakarta MRT will begin commercial operations in early 2019

The construction of the mass rapid transit (MRT) system is one of the biggest infrastructure projects to ever take place in Jakarta and many people hope it will help save the capital from its terrible traffic problems. But we’re going to have to wait until at least 2019 to find out if it can.

PT MRT Jakarta, the state-owned company overseeing the project, yesterday announced through a statement that construction on the MRT would not be completed until late 2018, which means commercial operations won’t start until early 2019.

When construction officially began on the MRT back in October 2013, it was hoped that construction on the transportation system’s main line could be finished and begin operating in 2018. This completion date became even more important after Indonesia agreed to host the Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018, but it looks likely that Asia’s best athletes will still have to face some of Asia’s worst traffic when they come here to compete in 2 years.

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has said that some of the delays on the MRT project are due to land acquisition issues for parts of the line’s elevated sections. He also said a technical error made by a contractor from Japan caused serious problems. 

However, if the MRT can indeed be completed and operational by early 2019, that would not constitute a huge overall delay for the project, considering its scope and the fact that six different construction companies have been contracted to do the work. Better they take their time and get everything right than have us worrying what will happed to the underground sections of the MRT routes during rainy season. 

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