Indonesia has inaugurated its first high-speed railway, a $7.3bn (£5.9) project backed by China under its Belt and Road Initiative.

President Joko Widodo launched the service, which connects the capital Jakarta to Bandung, a top economic hub.

The railway is named Whoosh, a Bahasa Indonesia acronym that translates to time-saving and reliable.

Mr Widodo has prioritised projects like Whoosh to ease the country’s severe traffic jams.

The railway was originally scheduled to open in 2019 but was delayed due to land disputes, the Covid-19 pandemic and a $1.2bn (£984m) budget overrun.

  • cyd@lemmy.world
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    10 months ago

    The bullet train’s speed will mainly appeal to business travellers and tourists, according to Dedi Dinarto, lead Indonesia analyst at strategic advisory firm Global Counsel.

    “It raises uncertainty about whether this substantial infrastructure investment, funded both by China and the national budget, will prove profitable for the government,” he said.

    Yeah because ordinary people never wanna travel on trains. They prefer traffic jams. Fuck off…

    • MicroWave@lemmy.worldOP
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      10 months ago

      The article literally tells you why:

      While ticket prices for the train have not been finalised, the company behind the train estimates that a one-way ticket could cost between 250,000 Indonesian rupiah and 350,000 Indonesian rupiah ($16 to $22.60).

      In comparison, a shuttle bus fare can cost as low as $5, which is approximately 77,685 Indonesian rupiah. And that difference can mean a lot for the average citizen.

      Aninda Dewayanti, who lives in Bandung, is sceptical about how practical the train would be for ordinary Indonesians.

      It’s so expensive,” she told the BBC. “There are other transport options with comparable prices. I’d rather take a normal train or a bus.”

      • cyd@lemmy.world
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        10 months ago

        The areas around Jakarta and Bandung are not dirt poor backwaters; there are literally millions of middle class Indonesians able to afford such prices, and more every year as the country develops. Also, having high speed rail tickets as low as $16, which the article admits is “comparable” to other options, is already a huge feat!

        This simply sounds like the writer is casting around for any negative views they can find, in order to shape a narrative. You can unearth such grousing about any infrastructure project, no matter how worthy, if you ask enough people.

        • MicroWave@lemmy.worldOP
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          10 months ago

          My comment is more to you talking about trains in general, as there are already regular trains in place. This is more about where high-speed rail fits in. AP News also has an article on it:

          “I’m so happy and very excited that finally we can ride a bullet train in Indonesia,” said Christianto Nusatya, a Jakarta resident who joined a public test ride last week. “But still, I would prefer to choose a regular train or car, because Jakarta-Bandung is too short and not worth it to be reached by high-speed train.”

          Deddy Herlambang, executive director of the Jakarta-based NGO Institute for Transportation Studies, said the public does not really need a high-speed train on the Jakarta-Bandung route because there were already many other ways of traveling between the two cities.

          He said the bullet train would have a significant economic impact if it connected Jakarta and Surabaya. However, he was pessimistic that the railway project would make a profit in less than 30 years of operation.

          “The high-speed train cannot replace the old transportation that previously existed,” Herlambang said, “People, of course, will prefer to use far cheaper modes of transportation for short distance trips.”

          https://apnews.com/article/indonesia-southeast-asia-highspeed-railway-e7a53ecbcb077b4403d9232e7b93bcf3

    • hitmyspot@aussie.zone
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      10 months ago

      Likely it’s price is too great for your typical Indonesian to use casually.