Friday, 26 April 2019

Jakarta, A City With Traffic Similarities As Lagos, Launches Its First Subway

 Jakarta – the Indonesian capital - share huge similarities with Lagos state, Nigeria.

Jakarta is officially home to about 10 million people, but the population of the greater metropolitan area swells to 30 million.

Just as Lagos, Jarkata, the population explosion occurring in this urban city has created infrastructural deficits especially for basic amenities.

One of the basic infrastructural deficits is seen in the transport sector. This has led to incessant traffic congestion in this urban city making it one of the traffic gridlock capitals of the world.

Over the decades, traffic congestion in Jakarta relentlessly worsened because of an increase in car ownership. Yet, the road infrastructure remained relatively unexpanded. This has left the resident to spend more hours in traffic.

According to the transport ministry, the average peak hour speed has “significantly decreased” to 10 kilometers an hour (6.2 miles per hour). It often can take two or more hours to move 5 kilometers (3 miles) in some pockets of the city.

Combating the huge traffic challenge in Jakarta has been on for several decades.

However, the first and long-awaited subway in Indonesia was commissioned last Sunday in Jakarta.

Indonesia is the 4th most populous nation in the world.  It has a population estimated at 269.54 million in 2019.

This metro-line is planned to help relieve crippling traffic gridlock in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

The project has been planned since the 1980s, but its construction was delayed by political crises, red tape and funding disagreements.

Trips across the 16-kilometer (10-mile) transit line from the southern neighborhood of Lebak Bulus to Jakarta’s downtown and is expected to take less than 30 minutes.

The subway includes seven elevated and six underground stations. Two consortiums of local and Japanese companies built it.

Passengers can ride for free until the end of the month, after which operator PT MRT Jakarta has said tickets will cost the equivalent of between 70 cents and $1.

This subway line, the latest of many infrastructure improvements across Jakarta, is aimed at helping it catch up with other Southeast Asian capitals such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Bangkok in public transport.

While inaugurating the transit line, President Joko Widodo also presided over a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the second phase: an 8-kilometer (5-mile) northward line planned for completion by 2024.

The two projects are being built at a cost of $2.6 billion.

In Lagos, a similar metro line project has been ongoing for years. Its completion dates have been postponed severally. The Blue line which is being constructed will be 27km long, connecting Okokomaiko to Marina. The first two lines of the urban rail project were estimated to cost $1.4bn.

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