New-Depok Manggarai Service Launched: Jakarta, West Java
State-owned railway company PT Kereta Api launched Thursday its new South Line train, which will run between Depok in West Java and Manggarai in South Jakarta. During the morning rush hour, commuters crowd into the economy-class trains that currently serve the route. Due to overcrowding, sometimes passengers can be seen hanging out of train doors or riding on the top of carriages.
The existing train services remain the fastest and cheapest way to travel between Depok and Manggarai, with tickets costing Rp 1,500 (approximately US$0.15).
Another alternative, the air-conditioned Pakuan train, runs between Kota in West Jakarta and Bogor in West Java. However, this service does not stop at every station. Tickets for the Pakuan train are priced at Rp 13,000 according to the Jakarta Post.
The South Line train, which can hold up to 750 passengers, costs Rp 6,000 per trip. It travels from Depok station to Manggarai station at 5:45 a.m. and 7:25 a.m. each morning and from Manggarai to Depok at 4:10 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. each afternoon.
The train stops at the Depok Baru, Pondok Cina, Universitas Indonesia, Universitas Pancasila, Lenteng Agung, Tanjung Barat, Pasar Minggu, Kalibata, Cawang and Tebet stations before terminating at Manggarai station.
Akhmad said the stainless-steel colored train was once operated by a Japanese company. He said it is in good working order and has never been used in Indonesia before.
He said with one ticket commuters could travel on both the South Line train and the Ciliwung Blue Line train.
The Ciliwung Blue Line train, which travels 27 kilometers from Manggarai to Jatinegara, was operating again Thursday after several services were canceled Wednesday due to floods, Ahmad said.
Transportation expert Darmaningtyas recently said the South Line train had the potential to solve traffic problems in Jakarta.
“As long as existing train stations are well integrated with other public transportation systems in the city, the new line has the potential to solve the city’s traffic problems,” Darmaningtyas said.
Connected busway stations and train stations in Jatinegara and Manggarai are good examples, he said.
“Also, give pedestrians proper sidewalks so they can move easily between stations,” he said.
Darmaningtyas said PT KA had a few problems to iron out if it wanted to encourage more passengers to use the service.
“The biggest problem I see right now is the headway time, which is the amount of time people need to queue to buy train tickets. Long lines really discourage people from using trains,” he said.