It is surprising that no-one has clarified Governor Joko Widodo’s apparent misunderstanding as to the location of the mass rapid transit (MRT) underground station to be built at (near) the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle (“MRT project finally kicks off, sort of”, The Jakarta Post, May 3).
It appears that the governor believes that the MRT station will be built immediately below the traffic circle in front of Hotel Indonesia, however, unfortunately this is not the case.
The designers have instead opted to locate the station 200 meters to the North along Jl. MH Thamrin in front of the Japanese Embassy building.
I say “unfortunately” as it seems illogical to not position the station at the traffic circle itself which would facilitate direct connectivity with the major developments located nearby, e.g. Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia, Wisma Nusantara, new development at the old British Embassy site etc.
The commercial success of the MRT will depend upon its ridership, i.e. passenger usage, and for this reason mass transit planners usually aim to site the stations at prime locations giving maximum ease of access to passengers. The confusion as to the real location is easy to understand bearing in mind the scarcity of information available to the public about the planned MRT.
Considering the massive impact this project will have upon the people who live and work in Jakarta and upon the numerous businesses along the route, not only after the start of operations but also during the long construction period, perhaps the authorities could provide the public with more detailed information on the project.