Minister Budi Karya Assures LRT Sumsel will Fully Operate in May 2018


JAKARTA, – Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi is optimistic that the Light Rail Transit (LRT) in South Sumatra will be fully operated in May or June 2018. The LRT project aims to support the Asian Games which will kick off in August 2018 in Palembang and Jakarta.

The minister said that the construction progress of the tens of trillions of rupiah project in Palembang, South Sumatra, has reached 80 percent.

Therefore, Budi strongly believes the LRT can be tried in April and two months later starting the operation. “Usually we test the track first without the train. After that, we do the trial with the train,” he said on Saturday (10/28).

While the construction of the track visibly shows a significant progress, it is not the case with the rolling stock. Currently the locomotives and the carriages are still being manufactured by PT INKA in Madiun.

According to Budi, one train (made in Indonesia) will be able to accommodate 534 passengers. One train will have three carriages and there will be eight trains. “In April at the latest the rolling stock will be ready,” he said after the oration and grand lecture of Nationality Actions of Higher Education Institutions Against Radicalism.

South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin said earlier the government encountered some obstacles in the land acquisition for the project, including the one in Jakabaring. But the problems have been solved and nothing will hamper the operation of LRT. “The land issues are now 100 percent clear,” he said.

On the safety, he has made various preparations, including a comparative study. According to Alex, it is important considering Palembang will be the first city in Indonesia that has LRT. A few months ago, Alex and the other stakeholders learned about the passenger safety in Tokyo, Japan, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. “We learned from them how to evacuate the passengers if the train stalled,” he said.

The development of LRT South Sumatra commenced in 2015. All the expenses are borne by the State Budget covering the construction to the supervision works.

The LRT South Sumatra is divided into five work zones with the length of the track at 23 kilometers. The project uses the rail with 1,067 millimeters in width and third rail electricity 750 VDC. The LRT is supported with 13 stations at the airport, hospitals, shopping centers, and others. It is also equipped with one depot and nine electrical substations. (TMP/TPP)