The Jakarta Post
The government has allocated Rp 123 billion (US$8.73 million) to subsidize the operation of a light rapid transit (LRT) in Palembang, South Sumatra.
“Anywhere, mass public transportation gets subsidized. We want to talk to the provincial government to discuss the issue. There is a law that requires the government to provide a subsidy [for public transportation],” said Transportation Ministry railway director general Zulfikri in Jakarta on Wednesday as quoted by kontan.co.id.
“So far, these subsidies came from the central government.”
Tickets for the 23.4-kilometer LRT Palembang currently cost Rp 5,000 (35 US cents) per trip, except for passengers who travel to Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin Airport, who must pay Rp 10,000 per trip.
The LRT reportedly transports about 4,000 passengers per day.
The subsidy was needed to encourage users of private vehicles to shift to the LRT, Zulfikri said, adding that this would need some time to accomplish.
The LRT Palembang started operating in October last year when the provincial capital cohosted the 2018 Asian Games along with Jakarta.
The LRT projects in Palembang and Greater Jakarta aim at addressing traffic congestion, Zulfikri said, adding that similar projects would be developed in other cities, including Medan, Makassar as well as several other cities in Java.
The government is now working toward shortening the trains’ headways, which is currently at between 24 and 28 minutes, he said.
Meanwhile, construction of the Jakarta LRT is now at 70 percent and is expected to be completed on April 21, Zulfikri said. (bbn)