Jokowi tells Ahok to speed up MRT phase II construction and “don’t think about the cost”

President Jokowi inspecting a boring machine used to digh tunnel for Jakarta’s MRT railway. Photo: Instagram/@mrtjkt
President Jokowi inspecting a boring machine used to digh tunnel for Jakarta’s MRT railway. Photo: Instagram/@mrtjkt

President Joko Widodo and Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama yesterday visited the construction site of the of the loooong awaited Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) railway system, which many of us are praying will help alleviate Jakarta’s infamous traffic woes.

After seeing satisfactory developments during the construction of Phase I of the MRT project, which is the first subway line connecting South Jakarta’s Lebak Bulus to Bunderan HI in Central Jakarta, Jokowi instructed Ahok to make sure that construction on Phase II, which connects Bunderan HI to Ancol Timur in North Jakarta, runs according to plan.

“He (Jokowi) said, don’t think about the cost. Funds can be collected from various sources. What’s important is that the design [is drawn up] quickly, and that [the construction] follows the design,” Ahok said, as quoted by Tempo.  

“I spoke with Pak Jokowi earlier. He wants to speed up [Phase II].”

That’s all well and good, but we hope the government won’t cut any corners during the construction of the MRT.

Phase I, or the Lebak Bulus-Bunderan HI line, is expected to be operational in March 2019. The design allows for 14 trains to run on it at any given time, allowing the line to serve up to 173,400 passengers daily.

Phase II, which is a northward extension of the Lebak Bulus-Bunderan HI line, is going to be 13.5 km long. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 with the goal of having it operational by 2021.

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