State-owned train company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) has launched the Pangrango train serving the 57-kilometer Bogor-Sukabumi route in an effort to reduce road traffic congestion between the two West Java towns.
Dressed as a railway official, State-owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan waved off the first train at Paledang railway station in Bogor on Saturday to mark the revival of the service, which was suspended for a year due to operational reasons.
“I have seen the heavy congestion on the Bogor-Sukabumi highway. We are a bit late responding to that situation. So if the demand for the train increases and the load factor is high enough, we will add more rail cars,” said Dahlan at the launch ceremony.
Hundreds of passengers queued at the station to board the first train.
PT KAI president director Ignasius Jonan, who accompanied the minister, said that the launch of the Pangrango train was aimed at reviving the Bogor-Sukabumi route which was closed following the suspension of the Bumi Geulis train in December, 2012.
According to the company, the Pangrango train will have three economy-class cars and one air-conditioned executive-class car with a total of 368 seats. The fare will cost Rp 35,000 (US$3.07) for executive class and Rp 15.000 for economy.
Ignasius said that PT KAI also planned to revive the Sukabumi-Cianjur route in 2014 as it was completing repair work on the track.