State-owned railway company PT KAI has secured a 30-year concession for the operation of a railway connecting Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Jakarta city center, which is expected to offer easier access to air passengers.
The Transportation Ministry’s director general for railways, Hermanto Dwiatmoko, and KAI president director Ignasius Jonan signed the concession contract on Thursday, paving the way for the state company to begin building a stretch of railway connecting Batu Ceper station in Tangerang and the airport, both of which are in Banten province.
“The directorate general completed construction [of the double track line] from Manggarai, South Jakarta, to Tangerang, which commenced operations on June 8. KAI will continue the construction of the 12-kilometer stretch from Batu Ceper to the airport,” Hermanto said.
The government commenced work on the Manggarai-Tangerang double-track railroad in order to increase the capacity of that particular route, and so prevent congestion by the time the Commuter Line train to the airport is operational.
Hermanto said the airport railway was expected to commence operations in July 2015.
Meanwhile, Jonan said the company could not yet launch construction on the Batu Ceper-airport track as a land acquisition deal was still pending.
“In order to secure the deal, we have offered jobs in the company to every family whose land is needed for the railway — as long as they meet our health and education standards,” Jonan said.
The total investment needed to acquire the land as well as to construct the stretch of railroad from Batu Ceper to the airport is Rp 2.5 trillion (US$216 million).
According to Jonan, the airport train will cater for up to 12 million passengers per year, with a total 128 trains operating on the entire route, from Manggarai to Tangerang.
“The railway network will operate 20 hours per day, in line with the operating hours of the airport. Trains are expected to arrive at the airport every 20 minutes,” he said.
He added that KAI would operate the same trains used by its subsidiary, PT Railink, at the country’s most modern airport, Kuala Namu International Airport, in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra.
The airport commuter line will pass through Manggarai-Sudirman (Central Jakarta)-Tanah Abang-Duri-Grogol (West Jakarta)-Bojong Indah (West Jakarta)-Kalideres (West Jakarta)-Tanah Tinggi (Tangerang)-Soekarno Hatta.
Using Commuter Line tracks, which were previously targeted to begin operations by the end of 2014, the journey time from Manggarai to the airport will be 45 minutes.
The Transportation Ministry is also due in August to offer for tender the airport express train connecting Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in East Jakarta and Soekarno-Hatta.
Around 19 investors, including the nation’s largest domestic airline, Lion Air, and international investors from China, South Korea, Japan and the US, have expressed an interest in bidding for the tender.
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