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Jakarta Post

Four busy Commuter Line stations in Jakarta get makeover to smooth transfers

  • Sausan Atika

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 18, 2020   /   05:12 pm
Four busy Commuter Line stations in Jakarta get makeover to smooth transfers Integrated station: Minivans, bajaj (three-wheeled taxis) and ojek (motorcycle taxis) await passengers at Tanah Abang Station in Central Jakarta. JP/Seto Wardhana (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Commuters will hopefully find transferring between different transit modes in Jakarta more convenient after the city finished the revamping of a number of transfer points, which had been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PT Moda Integrasi Transportasi Jabodetabek (MITJ), a joint venture between state-owned railway operator PT KAI and city-owned MRT operator PT MRT Jakarta, officially completed the makeover project at four busy Commuter Line stations -- Tanah Abang, Sudirman, Senen and Juanda -- on Wednesday after five months of construction.

The new integrated facilities that connect Commuter Line trains with Transjakarta buses, MRT trains, angkot (public minivans), ojek (motorcycle taxis) and bajaj (three-wheeled taxis) are expected to facilitate seamless commutes and eventually encourage more people to shift from private vehicles to public transit, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said.

“[The revamp] is aimed at easing people’s journeys and […] Insya’Allah [God willing] it could make it more convenient than using private vehicles,” Anies said at Tanah Abang Station on Wednesday.

The project, costing some Rp 25 billion (US$1.77 million), includes new pick-up and drop-off points for conventional and app-based ojek and roadside pull-offs for bajaj and angkot. Several new Transjakarta bus stops and pedestrian plazas, and other facilities like pedestrian canopies and transfer signboards were also installed.

In Tanah Abang Station, Jakarta’s busiest transit station that served an average of 1.25 million passengers a month in 2019, the project focused on the northern side of the station adjoining Jl. Jatibaru Bengkel. A new pull-off for bajaj and angkot has now been installed, replacing more than 100 street stalls that had occupied the sidewalks and the roadsides. These street vendors are now relocated to Blok F of Tanah Abang Market, around 1 kilometer away from the initial location.

Read also: ‘New normal’ exposes poor railway infrastructure

The makeover project began on Jan. 10 and initially was expected to be complete in March. But the outbreak hit the city weeks before the completion, forcing a delay.

The project finished in mid-May, but Jakarta authorities postponed the opening of the new facilities until the city started easing COVID-19 social restrictions during the so-called “new normal” period.

Health protocols, social distancing and mask-wearing are mandatory for anyone entering the new facilities during the easing period, with public transit operational hours still limited.

Meliyanti, 34, a commuter who got off at Tanah Abang Station on Wednesday, said she was impressed by the new facilities.

“They finally built an appropriate bus stop. I do not have to wait under the scorching sun anymore,” she said. “And, what is important is the area is now well-organized and much more convenient for a pedestrian like me.”

Before the project was completed, there were no bus stops in Tanah Abang Station, forcing Transjakarta buses and angkot to pick up passengers at the curb along the road in front of the station. The road was also never empty of bajaj and ojek scrambling to pick up passengers.

Read also: Vendors protest relocation as Jakarta kicks off project to ease Tanah Abang traffic

A similar project to revamp transfer points will start soon in five more railway stations -- Manggarai, Tebet, Gondangdia, Palmerah and Kota -- which, according to MITJ president director Tuhiyat, were chosen because of their urgent need for revamping.

Currently, the MITJ is also working to integrate a vast network of public transportation across Greater Jakarta and develop an integrated ticketing system for MRT and LRT trains, Transjakarta buses and angkot operating under the Jak Lingko network.

The firm is also planning to develop supporting facilities and transit-oriented development (TOD) projects -- a concept that integrates residential, business and leisure space within walking distance of public transportation -- in railway stations across Greater Jakarta.

“To build TOD projects is a must. It reflects well-integrated transportation modes,” Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said, adding that Tanah Abang had been the most difficult area in which to develop a TOD.