Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi inaugurated the reactivated Cianjur-Cipatat railroad network in West Java on Monday as part of the government’s plan to reduce road traffic, especially in Bogor, Sukabumi and Padalarang and the surrounding areas.
The 57-kilometer Cianjur-Padalarang railroad network is made up of three segments. The first segment, connecting Canjur and Ciranjang, was already reactivated in 2019, but the current activation extends the network to Cipatat district in West Bandung regency.
The ministry spent Rp 118.8 billion (US$8 million) from its 2019 budget to reactivate the Ciranjang-Cipatat segment, which includes work to repair and straighten rail tracks. It aims to start work on the final segment of the network, which will connect the stations of Cipatat and Padalarang, by 2022.
“Currently, the volume of traffic from Jakarta and its surrounding regions to the southern part of West Java is quite high, and that frequently causes congestion. The [reactivation] will hopefully improve connectivity for people in Bogor, Sukabumi, Padalarang and the surrounding region,” Budi said in a statement released on Monday.
Through the rail network reactivation, the ministry hopes to cut travel time between Cipatat and Sukabumi to 2.5 hours by train, 30 minutes less than the average travel time by road. The ministry also hopes to increase the number of daily train passengers on the route from around 2,100 to 6,500.
Furthermore, the ministry hopes to rail freight capacity from 30 tons per day to 42 tons by adding a sixth car to freight trains.
“Connectivity on this railroad is part of our effort to increase the availability of passenger and freight transportation services. Hopefully, both industries and commercial sector players will shift from using the road network to rail-based transportation,” Budi said.
To develop Indonesia’s aging rail infrastructure, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration had planned to build 3,258 km of additional tracks and reactivate abandoned networks, according to the 2015-2019 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN).
However, Transportation Ministry data show that the government only built and reactivated 852 km of tracks between 2015 and 2018, far below the RPJMN target.