Jakarta Transportation Alternatives Bring Optimism
A new and efficient airport train and slick inner city MRT are changing the way Jakartans think of their future, while a recent announcement that Bluebird has added electric taxis to its fleet is further evidence of positive change
It may not be as fast as Malaysia’s KLIA Express airport train, the fastest in SE Asia with a top speed of 160km an hour, but Jakarta RailLink nonetheless clips along at a respectable top speed of 100km and is comfortable, spotlessly clean and on time.
RailLink’s Manggarai to Soekarno-Hatta Airport route stretches 36.3 km, passing through Sudirman Baru Station, Duri Station, Bekasi Station, and Batuceper Station. The train serves a total of 70 daily departures with a capacity of 33,728 passengers per day.
Previously known as Sudirman Baru, this central city station was renamed BNI City Airport Station. Located on Jl Jenderal Sudirman, the station is a five-minute walk to the Grand Indonesia complex and the city’s prime business districts. The BNI City Station opened in December 2017 and was officially inaugurated a year later. The station is spacious and accommodates a variety of food and beverage tenants and a comfortable waiting lounge with Wi-Fi.
The self-check in machines and train arrival and departure boards are clear and comprehensive with plenty of attendants to help passengers on one of the 46-minute trips per day to the airport.
Accor All Seasons at the Cross Roads
Most commuters along Jl Thamrin may not notice the All Seasons Hotel, although it is well known to us at ITDC. Most weeks the hotel - conveniently located near the ITDC head office - is where our Lombok and Bali management teams stay for meetings. The hotel is strategically located, directly adjacent to the BNI RailLink station (roll your bag from station to front desk in five minutes) and the MRT BNI Station, located directly in front of the hotel.
In May Jakarta celebrated the launch of its MRT. The first line linking Hotel Indonesia to Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta supports and complements the capital’s Transjakarta bus service. The first phase of the North-South line totals 13 stations and carries well over 400,000 passengers per day. Travel time is 30 minutes maximum.
Park and ride facilities support the nearly 16-kilometre route but for now the facilities are only available at two (Lebak Bulus and Fatmawati) of the 13 stations. Park and ride facilities are appreciated by middle-upper class MRT users, who hope for convenient public transportation.
Bluebird Goes Green
Bluebird Taxi Group launched its first electric taxi on April 22, Earth Day. The e-taxis comprise of 25 Chinese made, BYD e6 A/T, a neat-looking five-door hatchback, powered by a single 119bhp electric motor, which can cruise easily and comfortably at 100km. Alongside the BYD, Bluebird added five Tesla 75D A/T for its upper-end Silverbird services.
Bluebird director Adrianto Djokosoetono said his company invested less than Rp 40 billion for 30 electric cars and supporting infrastructure. He added that the group needed to get underway with e-taxis in order to comprehend the obstacles ahead and provide suggestions to the Indonesian government about licences, budgets and charging stations.
For the time being, e-taxis can only be charged at stations located at Bluebird’s head office in South Jakarta. The company has installed 11 charging stations with plans for further charging facilities in the near future. Bluebird expects to operate 200 e-taxis by 2020.