Sausan Atika, Jakarta – Jakarta's first MRT line, MRT Jakarta, has finally opened on April 1 for commercial operations at 50 percent discounted fares for the entire month, a strategy to encourage people to use the new rail service.
The commercial launch of the rapid transit system follows two weeks of a trial run that was open to the public, which began on March 12, and after the MRT Jakarta was inaugurated on March 24.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said in a written statement on Sunday that city-owned MRT Jakarta, which operates the new service, had requested the half-price fares to urge people to try the new public transportation service and to spread word on the MRT.
Anies added that the strategy also intended "[...] to educate the people to shift their transportation culture from [using] private vehicles to public transportation".
The 50 percent discount applies to all trips on the MRT Jakarta, regardless of the distance traveled.
"So, if the fare from Lebak Bulus to the Bundaran HI [Hotel Indonesia traffic circle] is normally Rp 14,000 (9 US cents) per trip, it would be Rp 7,000 for the month," said Anies. He added that the fare from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to Dukuh Atas Station, which usually cost Rp 3,000 per trip, would be only Rp 1,500.
The MRT Jakarta's first route spans 15.8 kilometers from Lebak Bulus station in South Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta.
People can travel on the rapid transit service, which employs a cashless fare payment system, using a single-trip MRT Jakarta card or the Jak Lingko card. Other accepted payment forms are electronic cash cards issued by state-owned lenders Mandiri (e-money), BRI (brizzi), and BNI (tap cash), as well as those issued by private lender BCA (flazz) and city-owned lender DKI (Jakarta One).
A single-trip MRT Jakarta card can be purchased at the stations through ticket machines or ticket counters for Rp 15,000.(iwa)