JAKARTA - The Indonesian government plans to operate airport trains in three more cities following the inauguration of the airport train in Jakarta by President Joko Widodo on Tuesday (Jan 2), the country's transport minister said.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said on Tuesday that the three airport trains will operate in the airports in Padang in West Sumatra, Palembang in South Sumatra and Surakarta in Central Java, The Jakarta Post reported.
Speaking in Jakarta, he said the airport trains in Padang and Palembang were scheduled to be operated in May, while another in Surakarta was expected to begin operating in November.
"PT Railink will also be the train operator. The government is the sole investor of (the three airport trains)," he said, referring to the subsidiary of state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI). PT KAI is currently also the operator of the airport train in Jakarta, the Kompas.com news site reported.
The airport train networks running from the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II Airport in Palembang, Minangkabau Airport in Padang and Adi Sumarmo Airport in Surakarta are currently being constructed, the minister added.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday took a ride on the newly launched airport train in Jakarta that links the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to the city centre.
The train connection comes as the sprawling Indonesian capital moves to tackle the gridlock that can make the journey an hours-long headache. The airport train service, by contrast, is a journey that takes only 55 minutes.
The airport train in Jakarta operates 42 single trips per day. Services from South Jakarta's Sudirman Baru Station start at 3.51am, with the last train departing at 9.51pm, as several facilities at Manggarai Station are still under construction.
From Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, trains run at hourly intervals, with the first train departing at 6.10am and the last train departing at 11.10pm. Tickets are available at a flat price of 70,000 rupiah (S$7).
Indonesia's first airport train operated from the Kualanamu Airport in Medan.