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 Times, this 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)