The Jakarta Post
As the launch of the country’s first-ever subway train service draws near, work is also underway on connections between at least two buildings and the rail-based service’s stations.
City-owned company PT MRT Jakarta, which will operate the MRT service, is currently completing interconnections with two buildings, namely the Indonesia One tower on Jl. MH. Thamrin in Central Jakarta and Blok M Plaza mall in South Jakarta. The two buildings will be joined directly to nearby stations to facilitate passengers and workers.
"[The Indonesia One tower] is still under construction but the building owners know the importance of the MRT so they’ve built the interconnections first. So that when the building is finished, they can immediately use it,” PT MRT Jakarta construction director Silvia Halim told The Jakarta Post in an exclusive interview on Friday.
Meanwhile, construction of the bridge facilities connecting an MRT station to Blok M Plaza is complete and awaiting supporting facilities.
Silvia said the company was still in discussions with other building owners but expressed confidence that MRT stations would be interconnected “one by one” as the construction progresses. However, she did not provide further details on any additional names to the list of MRT-integrated buildings.
The construction of the MRT line spanning 15.7 kilometers linking Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta is 98 percent complete and its official launch will take place in March.
The building integration follows the plan launched by the Jakarta administration to initiate 13 transit-oriented development (TOD) projects that will integrate public transportation and buildings near the route of the first phase of the MRT.
On Friday a sign saying "this site is under renovation” was seen hanging on the glass double doors of the tiled footbridge linking Plaza Blok M.
“There will be elevators, stairs and lifts all around the station so that all visitors can use [the interconnection], including those with disabilities […] They’ll be protected from the sun and rain too,” said tenant relations supervisor Natalia S.
She added that mall officials had been sprucing up the ceilings and lighting to “make it look prettier for the big day”, especially in areas near the connecting bridge.
Blok M Plaza beverage vendor Zulfah Dila, 20, said she anticipated greater footfall once the integration is complete.
“It will be crowded once the bridge is done. Usually, the mall isn’t as crowded as other malls […] I normally sell around 15 to 20 [drinks] but hopefully I’ll get around 100 when the integration is complete,” Zulfah said.
Meanwhile, Widya Ramadhani, 23, who usually goes to her workplace near the Indonesia One tower by angkot (public minivan), expressed her excitement upon hearing the news of the integrated building.
“I heard that the [integrated MRT station] will be located near my workplace. If that’s the case, it will be really helpful […] but it depends, if the access turns out to be difficult, I may go back to my usual transportation mode,” Widya said.
In other TOD infrastructure-related developments the 26.5-hectare BMW stadium in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, will include an art performance facility, a luxury hotel and the sports venue itself. Another major TOD development will be in Dukuh Atas on the former Blora market, which is owned by the city administration. Once completed, Dukuh Atas will be Jakarta’s largest transportation hub connecting many kinds of transportation modes namely the MRT, the Transjakarta bus service, Commuter Line trains and the Airport train. (mai)