Trains from Japan to arrive in March
Commuters in the city and surrounding areas will see the arrival of 10 of 40 used-electric train carriages imported from Japan in March, an official said.
“Every month, starting March, we will receive 10 carriages until June,” corporate secretary of PT KAI Commuter Jabodetabek (KCJ) Makmur Syaheran told The Jakarta Post.
The imported carriages, produced between the 1980s and 1990s, would add to the existing 386 electric trains. Makmur refused to reveal the trains’ prices.
The KCJ serves commuting routes across the Greater Jakarta area, including tracks linking the city’s main stations to Serpong, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi in Greater Jakarta.
Makmur said the KCJ, which has become a subsidiary of state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api (KA) since August 2008, tried to improve service quality by providing more carriages and repairing a number of train stations.
This month, he added, his company would open a bidding process for another procurement of 48 used carriages from Japan.
“We will procure carriages for electric trains every year. This is part of our effort to increase comfort quality,” he said.
With regard to the renovation of 17 train stations, Makmur said, this month it had entered the first phase, with Juanda station in Central Jakarta, for example, to be equipped with new benches.
He added that street vendors sprawling at the platform would be relocated.
Makmur said the KCJ would also develop an electronic ticketing system to many trains to curb the number of illegal passengers.
A resident of Depok Saleh Purwanto who commuted daily to his workplace in Jakarta, said he would welcome the imported used trains, saying that the news had been long awaited.
He said, however, that the additional number of trains would be meaningless if the KCJ did not improve their daily operational condition.
He said he expected on-time arrivals and departures of the electric train, but was often disappointed when faced with sudden schedule delays.
“Recently, the delay often happens Monday,” he said.
He said the delays were usually caused by train damage and troubled signals.
“If the problems are known, why doesn’t the company provide backup trains or evacuate passengers when the train stops before arriving at its destination?” he said.
Volunteer group KRLmania urged PT KAI Commuter Jabodetabek that the imported trains replaced economy-class electric trains that were unreliable.
The editorial page of the group’s website stated that PT KA should work on improving the signaling system of the electric trains, making it more reliable.
The KCJ currently manages 170 kilometers of railway lines and 56 railway stations.
It was reported that approximately 400,000 passengers from Greater Jakarta now use the trains every day, an increase from 325,000 last year. The KCJ targets to attract 1 million passengers per day by 2012. Furthermore, in 2014 it targets to carry 3 million passengers per day.
In order to improve its service, the company revealed that it would take all non-AC economy-class trains out of service and replace them with AC economy-class trains by 2011.
So far, more than 40 stations allow passengers to easily pass through without tickets.
It is common to see passengers on train roofs during peak hour. Incidents where illegal passengers were electrocuted were reported in 2009.