Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 10 July 2016 • Blog
“Is there a train from airport to Jakarta, to the middle of the city?” Once an Airbnb guest of mine texted me.
“Unfortunately, no. You’ll have to take the taxi or bus, and that will take about 1-2 hours, depending on traffic. At worse times it could take up to 3 hours, though quite rare,” I explained.
Find out about the upcoming train from airport to Jakarta city.
So then he took my advice and left only a little time to drop his bags at my place and hurried to his conference venue, which was fortunately quite near from where I live. That took me back to my trip in Kuala Lumpur a few years back, where I managed to have more time for sightseeing because I traveled between the airport and the city by the airport train, saving myself a lot of time. It would be really nice if Jakarta had an airport train like that.
That conversation happened last year. Whaddya know, just last month I was invited to a dinner, along with several other bloggers, which was also a socialization of the future train from airport to Jakarta! It was organized by Railink, the first operator of airport train in Indonesia. They’re the guys who have made airport train in North Sumatra happen. Yup, North Sumatra is lucky to be the first province that gets the train service between the Kualanamu International Airport and Medan city. I’m not lucky enough to have tried since it was launched in 2013 but I’m hearing good things about it.
A new terminal 3 at Soekarno Hatta International Airport (SHIA), which was initially socialized as Terminal 3 Ultimate but now called just Terminal 3, has recently been built. It will cater to, at first, domestic and later international flights. Claimed to have the level of sophistication as that of Singapore’s Changi International Airport, the new terminal will be connected with a train to Jakarta city. The train system is built also by Railink.
Hold your horses though, because the train is still being built. It is scheduled to start operate within the first semester of 2017. Less than a year from now! It’s also designed to be integrated with some of the commuter lines and busway in Jakarta. Here are a few pointers that were presented by Railink at the dinner about the train from the airport to Jakarta city, just to give you an idea of the convenience:
At the dinner, our fellow blogger Swastika asked an important question: “Will the train track be affected by the flood that often strikes Jakarta?”
Unfortunately, the Railink guys couldn’t say “no”. However, “Some of the tracks have been elevated, like the one at Tanah Abang, so that should be safe from the flood,” said one of them. Flood-wise, we can only hope that more of the track routes will be elevated or the flood could disappear magically. A pretty good note about this though: this year’s flood wasn’t half bad the ones in previous years, so let’s hope for even better condition in the future.
Another blogger, Rere, asked a question that we all must relate to, “How much will the train ticket cost? Will there be discounts for group passengers, like for family?”
The exact price is still in calculation, but it will be in the range of IDR 100,000-150,000/pax. And they may have special price for big group passengers. If you compare it with the prices of the existing modes of transportations, it’s relative. It’s more expensive than if you’re taking the DAMRI bus or the X-Trans shuttle car, but it’s relatively cheaper than a taxi fare (it will depend on where in Jakarta you’re heading).
Having explained all these points, good and the not-so-good, I am really hoping this airport train system will operate as planned. Having a train system that connects SHIA with Jakarta city, I think, will reduce the hassle of travelers getting into town or leaving town because of the shorter trip duration. Much of it is because you wouldn’t be stuck in Jakarta’s notorious traffic jam. It will be an easy answer to questions like “How to travel from Jakarta airport to the city?”
One thing that I’m not yet clear about, is how passengers could transfer between airport terminals to get to the train in the new Terminal 3. Well, there’s still months to figure it out, and I hope Railink and the airport management (Angkasa Pura) will come up with a practical solution.