Widodo wants bullet train to inspire beyond Java

Widodo wants bullet train to inspire beyond Java
PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review

WEST JAVA - At its launch on Thursday, President Joko Widodo said he wants Indonesia's first high-speed rail link connecting Jakarta and Bandung to inspire other parts of the archipelago to develop mass transit systems.

Widodo said development of Indonesia's public transportation networks had been neglected, forcing people to rely heavily on private vehicles. The first mass rapid transit network in Jakarta, for example, had been planned for 26 years but did not get under way until two years ago.

The capital, like many Indonesian cities, is increasingly gridlocked.

"If this project is successful, I'm sure it will trigger other provinces, districts and cities to make similar requests," the president said during the groundbreaking ceremony at Walini on the outskirts of Bandung, Indonesia's third largest city and the capital of West Java province.

The high-speed rail link is a joint project between Indonesia and China due for completion by 2018 with operations starting in early 2019. The 142km line has four stations: Halim in East Jakarta, and Karawang, Walini and Tegalluar in West Java.

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