MRT plans expansion into South Tangerang and Soekarno-Hatta Airport, deputy mayor hopeful of 2022 launch date

Bundaran HI MRT station. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media
Bundaran HI MRT station. Photo: Nadia Vetta Hamid/Coconuts Media

Following the successful launch of the first phase of MRT Jakarta — the first subway system in Indonesia — the state-owned train company managing the project is considering expanding its routes into Jakarta’s satellite cities in the coming years and it appears South Tangerang and the capital’s airport may be first in line.

At an urban exhibition in BSD City, South Tangerang yesterday, PT. MRT Jakarta said that the company has plans to extend the existing MRT line (which runs from Bundaran HI in Central Jakarta to Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta) further southwest and into the satellite city. The company did not disclose many details about the plan as they say they are currently studying its feasibility.

However, South Tangerang Deputy Mayor Benyamin Davnie was not at all tight-lipped about the plan, telling reporters where the new railway may be built.

“So there will be more or less 20 kilometers [of railway] from Lebak Bulus, built to cut through to Jalan Raya Ciputat and around to Pamulang and Rawa Buntu,” Benyamin told Kompas yesterday, adding that the line will also pass through BSD City, Tangerang City and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

“We hope it will be operational in 2022, the [planned] line already exists.”

Benyamin said that more than 50% of South Tangerang’s citizens commute to Jakarta for work daily. The MRT has also proven popular for citizens of the satellite city, as the administration has seen an uptick of citizens taking feeder buses to MRT stations in Jakarta ever since its launch this month.

2022 for a launch date may be too optimistic, considering that the recently launched MRT Jakarta line missed its initial target for completion before the 2018 Asian Games last August. Not only that, construction of Phase II of the MRT, which extends the existing line further north to Kampung Bandan in North Jakarta, is only scheduled to begin this year and is expected to be operational in 2025.

That said, construction of any MRT Jakarta lines operating outside the capital will be the responsibility of the respective regional governments, so it’s not beyond the possibility that South Tangerang is keen to fast track its MRT before Phase II is even completed.

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