Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway handles 383,000 passenger trips in first month of operation
Published: Nov 17, 2023 02:29 PM Updated: Nov 17, 2023 11:30 PM
The Jakarta-Bandung HSR handles 383,000 passenger trips in its first month of official operation. Photo: Courtesy of China State Railway Group Co

The Jakarta-Bandung HSR handles 383,000 passenger trips in its first month of official operation. Photo: Courtesy of China State Railway Group Co

The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR), the first HSR in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, handled 383,000 passenger trips in its first month of official operation, China State Railway Group Co said on Friday.

Passenger flow saw a strong upward momentum, the Chinese state railway operator said, with highest single day ridership reaching 98.7 percent occupancy rate during the period.

The Jakarta-Bandung HSR, which is 142 kilometers long with a maximum design speed of 350 kilometers per hour, is operated by a consortium of Indonesian and Chinese firms including a unit under the China State Railway Group. It has cut the journey between the two cities from 3.5 hours to just 46 minutes.

Since the HSR's official operation began on October 17, the high demand from passengers has shown the HSR has become a favorable transport means for the local people, the railway operator said.

Since November 1, the HSR's operator has doubled the daily active trains on service to 28 from 14 in the initial phase of operation. As a result, the daily available seats were doubled from 8,000 to 16,000. During weekends, the number of active trains was further increased to 36 to meet peak demand.

Ridership continued to reach new highs, and the daily passenger volume increased from 4,131 to 21,359 while the occupancy rate increased from 49 percent to 98.7 percent.

The Jakarta-Bandung HSR is an iconic project in promoting high-quality construction of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, and is seen by experts as injecting momentum into regional economic and social development and offering a demonstration effect for future BRI developments in Southeast Asia.

The high-speed railway not only marks the modernization of Indonesia's transportation system, by connecting Jakarta and Bandung it will also greatly promote the development of industries along the route, such as commercial development and tourism, Chinese experts noted.

Sun Zhang, a railway expert from Shanghai Tongji University, told the Global Times on Friday that train ridership is expected to rise further and rise sharply as more locals get used to take the train in favor of buses and private cars to commute the distance between the two cities.

"It seems that the Jakarta-Bandung HSR, with its strong first month performance, has skipped a period of consumer education that is usually needed in other projects of the same caliber. This means the planning of this HSR suited the demand of local people very well," Sun said, noting that HSR demonstrated the win-win nature of BRI projects.

The HSR is also the first project under which Chinese high-speed railway technology was implemented in a comprehensive way outside of China, with the whole system, all elements and the entire industrial chain.

Some insiders predicted in September that ridership of the HSR, which is seen by locals as a symbol of national pride and a dream come true, could exceed 10 million trips in the first year of operation.

The HSR passes through the hinterlands of West Java province and has several stops including Halim, Karawang, Padalarang and Tegalluar.

Global Times