Free Trial Rides on 'Whoosh' High-speed Train Extended until Mid-October
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The newly-launched high-speed railway named Whoosh will be free until mid-October, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan confirmed. He said this was in consideration of the public's high enthusiasm for the country’s first bullet train, which connects Jakarta and Bandung.
“Thanks to the public's high enthusiasm for the free trial rides on the Jakarta-Bandung fast train, we agreed [to extend it] until the middle of October,” Luhut said when presenting the report before President Joko Widodo or Jokowi during the launch at Halim Station, East Jakarta on Monday, October 2, 2023.
Luhut said the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train was expected to encourage people to use public transportation in order to reduce carbon emissions from the private vehicle sector.
President Jokowi inaugurated the 142-km railway project at Platform 3. In his speech, he said that the train marked the modernization of Indonesia's mass transport which is efficient, environmentally friendly, and integrated with other transport modes.
The bullet train, which was built by the Indonesia-China consortium, could carry more than 600 people to and from Jakarta and Bandung in 45 minutes. The project was part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.
Whoosh stands for time-saving, optimal operation, and great system in the Indonesian language. “The name is inspired by the sound of a rushing high-speed train,” Jokowi said at the launch.
He also said that the government faced a number of challenges in working on this brand-new project. But the government has learned valuable lessons from it.
“Therefore, I want all of us to not be allergic to criticism and to remain enthusiastic about learning. Building infrastructure, including toll roads, ports, airports, dams, and transportation, has given us the experience and provisions to achieve better results in the future,” Jokowi said.
DANIEL A FAJRI | MOH KHORY ALFARIZI
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