Finally: The decade-long awaited Rail Airport Express from Jakarta Soekarno Hatta International Airport to the Indonesian capital is due to become a reality. The promise was personally hand over to the public by Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. The President made the statement on Monday telling that the rail connecting Manggarai Station in Central Jakarta to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, would be finished by early 2017. The last 12 km are due to be completed by next year.
Indonesian President Jokowi said the government had invested IDR2.5 trillion (US$177.4 million) in the project, which started in 2015. “This is a solution for the chronic city-to-airport traffic congestion,” Jokowi said to journalists when inspecting the 30-km railway project.
According to Jokowi, people will be able to travel between Manggarai and Soekarno-Hatta in 40 minutes with the new railway, which in turn will ease traffic congestion from the city to the airport. Talking further to journalists, Indonesian President said that he will continue to favour rail connections between cities and their airport. “A city and its airport should be connected by mass-transportation, such as Palembang, Surabaya, Padang and Yogyakarta,” told the President.
So far, the only airport in Indonesia connected by rail is Medan-Kuala Namu in North Sumatra. Yogyakarta Airport is next to a rail line with a station nearby. However they are no dedicated service to the airport despite the fact that Yogyakarta Adisucipto International welcomed in 2014 5.2 million passengers.