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Mon, 03/25/2019 - 04:40
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Indonesia Opens Its 1st Subway, Built under Japan-Led Project

Jakarta, March 24 (Jiji Press)--Indonesia opened its first subway in Jakarta on Sunday, which was built under a project that involved Japanese companies from construction to train car production. The 6-kilometer subway section is part of a newly opened 15.7-kilometer Mass Rapid Transit line that connects the center of the Indonesian capital and its southern district. It usually takes more than an hour to travel between the districts by car due to the city's traffic gridlock, considered one of the worst in the world. The MRT line reduces the travel time to about 30 minutes. On the newly opened line, MRT trains run automatically. Platform screen gates installed at all of its 13 stations are controlled at the command center. Both systems were developed in Japan. Passenger train services will start on Monday. Fares will not be charged until the end of March. To finance the project, Japan extended 125 billion yen in soft loans. Japanese companies were involved in all areas, such as railway construction including tunnel drilling, the establishment of traffic signals and platform screen gates and the production of train cars. A total of 96 trains were imported from Japan. Indonesia plans an 8-kilometer northward extension to the MRT line and a project to build a 32-kilometer new line running east to west. At a ceremony, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the newly opened line is just the first step. After the ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia Masafumi Ishii said the president expressed to him a wish to continue working with Japan in future MRT projects. Japan has been also asked to participate in the work to set a master plan to integrate public transportation systems in the capital region, according to the Japan International Cooperation Agency. END