Indonesian President Opens First Metro Line In Capital As Fix For Traffic Problem- Reports

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th March, 2019) Indonesian President Joko Widodo has opened the country's first metro line in the capital Jakarta. local media reported on Sunday.

"The metro will improve people's lives. We discussed the fares while riding the train and have decided that it will cost around eight to nine thousand Indonesian rupiahs [54-61 US cents]," the president told reporters, as cited by Indonesian news outlet Jakarta Post.

Widodo also said that creating an integrated public transportation system in the greater Jakarta area, which will include the metro, the bus Transjakarta system, the airport express train and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, which is currently under construction, will help reduce traffic congestion, which costs the government an estimated 65 trillion rupiahs in annual losses.

"The future of our transportation is mass transit, especially if we want to eliminate congestion and traffic in the cities," the president said, adding that other major cities in Indonesia, including the second-largest Surabaya, were contenders for metro system construction.

The Jakarta metropolitan area population exceeds 30 million people and has been experiencing a rise in congestion due to increased car ownership in recent decades. In late 2017, the Jakarta government proposed to introduce a "congestion tax" that would be an incentive for people to take public transit. There are plans to implement an electronic road pricing system this year, which would charge vehicle owners for entering certain roads.