New Train Connects Jakarta Airport And The City

Filed Under: Travel

Jakarta is known for being one of the worst traffic cities in the world, and getting from the airport to the city can take over two hours, even though it’s not actually that far.

I know this is my own problem, but personally I’m actively uncomfortable whenever I’m in a car. I think driving is the most dangerous thing we do on a day-to-day basis, so for me it’s not just the amount of time I spend in a car, but the fact that I feel stressed as well. That’s why I love any city that has a great, easy link connecting an airport to a city. I’d much rather be on an airport train playing around on my laptop than feeling nervous in the back of a car.

For those visiting Jakarta, there’s some great news on that front. As noted by The Straits Timesthis week a new train started operating between Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and the city center, which is just over 30km away. The ride takes 55 minutes, so this isn’t a high speed train like Shanghai’s Maglev, though it does cut the travel time over peak times in half.

The service, called Railink, will operate 42 times per day between dawn and shortly before midnight. For the first two months the service is operating, tickets will cost 70,000 Rupiah (~5.20USD), while after that the price will be increased to 100,000 Rupiah (7.40USD).

In addition to the airport, the train will stop at three stations — Sudirman Baru station (in the heart of Jakarta), as well as Duri and Batu Ceper (closer to the airport). Then in 2019 the line will be extended to the south of Jakarta.

While the train will be convenient for those near Sudirman Baru station, the challenge is that Jakarta is a sprawling city, so that’s not near where you need to be, it could be another 30 minutes to an hour to get there, depending on traffic.

Regardless, this is an awesome development, and I’d certainly take this the next time I’m in Jakarta.

(Tip of the hat to Curtis)

  1. 1. The price is currently IDR 70,000 (~USD 5, EUR 4) and may increase to IDR 100,000 (~USD 6, EUR 5.82) in the future. I think you’re missing a zero on the list (and thus off by a factor of ten)

    2. The rail is still mixed with the far cheaper commuter train, also both services are known due to low reliability on the tracks and questionable punctuality (such as signal- or electricity supply-related problems)

    3. Sudirman Baru station (literally New Sudirman) is also known as BNI City train station, probably due to sponsorship/branding with the national bank (BNI)

  2. And yet you took an Uber from the terminal 4 premier Inn to get to terminal 5 even though there were free trains readily available.

  3. Just to clarify the ticket price is 70.000 rupiah for one way until March 2018, after that the price will rise to 100.000 rupiah for one way ticket( though the president has told the rail company to keep the price at 70.000, we’ll see how that goes in a few months)

    And there are 4 stops(not 3) open right now : Batu Ceper, Duri, Sudirman Baru and Manggarai. This is important because Manggarai is the last stop rather than Sudirman Baru which is quite a distance apart.

    Personally I think if you’re tight on time or travelling alone taking the train is great, otherwise it’s cost just around 100.000 for an Uber to the airport from city centre(which is the better option if you’re travelling with family or with lots of luggage)

  4. I’ve tried this train yesterday, it was pretty good. The seating layout is 2-2, there’s also powerport, and separated lavatories for ladies and gents. The fact that this is a new train ( and first operational day ) it was clean. The advantage of taking this train instead of taxi or another ride, is this train could get you to the airport on time, as there’s no traffic on the rail. Traffic in Jakarta can be so unpredictable. Once i left hotel heading to the airport 4 hours before the check in time and ended up missed my flight.

  5. Where does the train arrive at CGK? Which terminal? –easy to connect to train linking the terminals?

  6. Greg +1

    I was mystified by Lucky writing this:
    “I’d much rather be on an airport train playing around on my laptop than feeling nervous in the back of a car”
    … when he ignored all the (free) public transport options between terminals at Heathrow (tube train, mainline train and buses) in order to, er, hire an Uber.

    I’m beginning to think there are in fact several Luckies, and they don’t all feel the same way.

  7. I was in Jakarta last week. A taxi to the Ritz Mega Kunindan took less than 30 minutes (no traffic on weekend) and cost 150K for the three of us. So, while any mass transit offering is a great improvement in a city with such congestion and pollution problems, it is a bit too slow and (relatively) expensive to be attractive for many people. This train would have cost more than twice as much (as a taxi would still be required) and taken 3x longer.

  8. There is also a new overdue airport express line here in Taipei, Taiwan, that connects the city center and Taipei main station with a tpe airport.

  9. @Larry
    When there’s more than two of you, trains make far less sense. Same logic applies to LHR express. Uber costs 20 to 30 GBP to go into the city, while train tickets at 15-20 GBP per person. And I think you may have just caught Jakarta at a good time. I live there, and the traffic can vary widely. Sundays are the best, Friday evenings are the worst.

  10. @W
    Most Londoners don’t use Heathrow Express – it’s a way for the airport operator to milk cash from gullible visitors before dumping them in a part of London which then involves a change to the Tube or a taxi.

    Why would we pay £22-25 (the buy-on-board price is a ludicrous £27) for HEx when the Tube is £3.10 (or, at peak, £5.10).

    Mile-for-mile, the HEx fare is higher than the mile-for-mile ticket price to fly on Concorde of late memory. It’s a massive rip-off.

    HEx will die soon anyway: to be replaced by the new Crossrail services (branded “Elizabeth line”, for some reason).

    And, once again, Uber has been found to be not a fit and proper company by the London Transport regulator. It is appealling against having its licence revoked, but it may not be an option for much longer.

  11. @ Greg — With a transfer, it looks like. So to answer the question, I didn’t think it was worth walking all the way back to T4, then taking a train to T3, and then taking a train to T5, all before 5AM, rather than just taking a five minute Uber ride.

  12. In fact, the best way to get from the Hilton T4/Premier Inn T4 to T5 is the 482 or 490 bus, which is free and starts running quite early. But Uber is probably faster and more convenient with luggage.

  13. @ Zie – There is still 40,000 INR Damri bus to Gambier and other points from the airport, right?

  14. seems like most these transportation widely avb esp in asia and middle east…when’s gonna be avb in us ? ?? I wish US would cut its spending on military and building our infrastructure…just 5% will do…

  15. Still need to walk from Premier Inn back to T4 and then the bus is a) packed with shift workers at that time and b) goes via a few of the cargo facilities so isn’t a great experience – I definitely would have Ubered too

    For the sake of completeness it is worth noting you can do a free T4-T5 transfer via Hatton Cross- as long as you’ve a contactless card or Oyster to touch in/out with (you won’t be charged)

    This is a more frequent option for most of the day but still a bit sparse at 5am!

  16. Now if Jakarta airport would only come up with a rail link between the actual terminals. The free buses are horrible.

  17. But at 5am will you always be sure to find an Uber lurking around LHR T4? By the time you’ve looked on the app and ordered it you could be half way back to T4 on the walkway from the hotel anyway…plus the time you need to be downstairs waiting for the car arrive. There will be some cabs in Hounslow but that’s not near.

    Still think Uber is no faster from T4 to T5, especially when you have direct frequent buses and a train service and a tube service…all of which are free. Easier perhaps if you have more than 2 cases, but it’s rare for one person to travel with 3 cases. Uber probably cost at least £10-£15.

  18. @ Greg — If we’re still discussing this, I was leaving before 5AM. The trains only start running after 5AM.

  19. …But you are “uncomfortable, stressed and nervous” in the back of cars.

    If taxis are such a problem then I wouldn’t think you would order one, when the tube can leave T4 at 5:02am, arriving into T5 at 5:13am. BA check in doesn’t open before 5am, neither do the lounges.

  20. To be fair, I don’t think Lucky is in a financial position to worry about a paying for a £10 taxi ride.

    I also imagine it’s a world of difference between a 10 minute journey around some airport access roads in Western Europe than a two hour journey in South East Asia if you’re a nervous passenger

  21. There some missing information in this article.

    1. Sudirman Baru Station (aka BNI City Station) are actually near Sudirman Station. In there you can literally go anywhere in Jakarta and surrounding area using Commuter Train service.
    2. There’s feeder bus who connect BNI City Station to nearest Transjakarta BRT Station.
    3. Airport Station is still far from the terminal in CGK, there’s skytrain service connect T1, T2, Airport Station, and T3 in every 13 minutes. The skytrain is fully operational right now.

    I agree, by some point 100000 Rupiah for airport train with 1 hour trip is somewhat expansive. But I also understand the long of this trip due they still share the railway line with commuter train service. But at least this change is more better then nothing. Maybe there’s room for improvement

  22. Interesting information on the new train to Taipei City. I have an eleven hour layover next week and will enjoy a visit to Taipei City.

    And I don’t have a particular affinity for cars. I don’t enjoy driving a car. Two weeks of travel without a moment in a car is heaven on earth.

    Last visit to Jakarta the taxi drivers wouldn’t stop playing with the games on the phones long enough to take me to or from. Walking or mass transit proved to suffice with the exception of the ride to and from the airport. The hotel arranged for a taxi to the airport.

  23. I would love to go to Jakarta. They have Ritz Carlton’s and Mandarin Oriental for $99 a night. I would probably just take a taxi because the US dollar is so strong there.

  24. Indeed arriving/leaving at Sudirman with a 55 min trip plus connecting time before and after is not really competitive in terms of price and time. This Monday peak time (17.00) leaving Kota (north of Menteng CBD) with Grab -with really bad traffic till the highway tool – took 55 minutes for 73.000 IDR + 7.000 in tool. Was lucky no extra trafffic on the highway though

  25. Tried the train yesterday. The machines at the airport train station wouldn’t take an American visa (asked for PIN and rejected). I had to pay a local cash to get me a ticket with their debit card. Ironically, the excellent airport train in the much less cosmopolitan city of Medan in Sumatra takes cards with no pin just fine.

  26. Hi. We’re going to Jakarta on Aug 2018. we’re planning to go directly to bandung for 4 nights. From jakarta airport to bandung and vice versa, what will be the best transportation do you guys advise?

    Hope for your prompt reply

    Thank you.

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