LRT is physically easier to expand and add routes.

The monorail lobby is like the the SkyTrain lobby and their motto seems to be;Ai?? don’t confuse me with facts.”

There are many similarities between monorail and SkyTrain ALRT/ART and in fact our SkyTrain is sometimes mistakenly called a monorail overseas.

The big drawback, of course, is that they are proprietary railways and the operating authority is tied to one suppler.

With modern light rail, you can built it as a light-metro but you have the option of operating on lesser (cheaper) rights-of-ways if needed. With LRT, larger, yet cheaper “rail” networks can be built, thus providing a better transit experience for the transit customer.

The transit customer, the all important ingredient in our public transit mix, too often forgotten about in Vancouver and many cities abroad.

A monorail to nowhere in Jakarta

JAKARTA, the capital and largest city in Indonesia with an urban population of 11.3 million and a metro population of 30.3 million, wants a monorail firm to develop light rail transit instead, The Jakarta Post reported Saturday. “Governor Basuki ai???Ahokai??? Tjahaja Purnama said that the city preferred the LRT system over a monorail as it was physically easier to expand and add routes.
‘There are seven planned corridors but we may add more corridors in the future for better connections, and the LRT system would be easier to expand,’ Ahok told reporters at City Hall on Friday.”

City asks Jakarta Monorail to develop light rail transit

Dewanti A. Wardhani
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Sat, May 30 2015, 7:39 AM

The Jakarta administration has sent a letter to monorail project operator PT Jakarta Monorail (JM) to find a new depot location in order to continue cooperation with the city administration and develop a light rail transit (LRT) system instead of monorail.

Jakarta Legal Bureau head Sri ai???Yayukai??? Rahayu said the letter was sent to JM earlier this year. She said the letter included two requirements that JM must fulfill in order to continue cooperation with the city administration.

ai???The first requirement is that JM must find a new location for the depot,ai??? Yayuk told reporters at City Hall on Thursday evening.

The problematic monorail project began in 2004 under then governor Sutiyoso.

The construction resumed in October 2013, with JM as contractor. However, construction has not progressed following disagreements between the city and the company.

Moreover, the city administration is doubtful of the companyai??i??s ability to fund the project.

Further, the Jakarta administration saw that JMai??i??s planned routes and stations were not feasible.

JM had planned to construct the first route, the green line, which will consist of 16 stations, extending 14.3 kilometers (8.8 miles) from the city police headquarters (Komdak) to Satria Mandala Museum, both in South Jakarta.

The stations and depot were to be built in Tanah Abang in Central Jakarta and Setiabudi in South Jakarta, among other places. Ahok said that the station in Tanah Abang would increase traffic congestion in the area as it would be built on existing roads.

Further, the planned station in Setiabudi would be built on a reservoir.

ai???The Public Works and [Public] Housing [Ministry] also sent a letter to the Jakarta administration saying that the Setiabudi reservoir was off limits. Therefore, JM must find a new location for the depot,ai??? Yayuk said.

The second requirement, she went on, was that JM must participate in a new tender in order to continue cooperation with the city administration.

ai???However, the bidding is not for a monorail system but for an LRT system. There will no longer be a monorail,ai??? Yayuk said, adding that the city was still waiting for an update from JM.

The city administration and the central government agreed earlier this year to develop an LRT system, which would not only travel within Jakarta but also to and from satellite cities, such as Bekasi, West Java, and Tangerang, Banten.

Governor Basuki ai???Ahokai??? Tjahaja Purnama said that the city preferred the LRT system over a monorail as it was physically easier to expand and add routes.

ai???There are seven planned corridors but we may add more corridors in the future for better connections, and the LRT system would be easier to expand,ai??? Ahok told reporters at City Hall on Friday.

Separately, JM director Sukmawati Syukur confirmed that the company received the letter from the city administration.

ai???Weai??i??ve received and replied to the cityai??i??s letter. We stated that we need time for internal discussions and coordination,ai??? Sukmawati said on Friday, adding that JM was preparing a route to adhere to the cityai??i??s requirements.


6 Responses to “LRT is physically easier to expand and add routes.”
  1. eric chris says:

    Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama is right, LRT is the way to go. Hopefully, the LRT stops are no more than 600 metres apart.

    In the related Hamilton post on LRT, there are 14 stops over 11 km. This likely means adding buses to shuttle the riders to the LRT stops. It would be prudent to add another five stops to not have to run the buses on the LRT route in Hamilton. In the long run, it saves money. The stale argument that it “slows” the commute to add LRT stations is false statistically, and the time to reach the LRT stop has to be factored into the commuting time.

  2. Haveacow says:

    Everybody keep in mind what Jakarta means, like many Asian cities, when they say LRT. They are not talking about the traditional large Streetcar/Tram systems running on private rights of way similar to European or North American cities. They are talking about Light Metro Skytrain type system, similar but lighter than their MRT line.

    The Hamilton LRT is set to be expanded on the B Line another 3 km and the full build out of the A line within 15 years. It all depends on how much the province is willing to put in. Hamilton however, has many other funding issues concerning transit that they desperately need to resolve soon. Like how they fund their basic transit system.

    Zwei replies: Most South Asian “urban rail” transit systems must be elevated due to the monsoons. In Manilla, the streets below the elevated LRT (light-metro) sometimes flood to a metre deep in the monsoon. In Jakarta, transit planners want the option of at-grade in the higher elevations.

  3. Richard says:

    The Jakarta LRT will be elevated and be pretty much like SkyTrain which is often called light rail.

    Zwei replies: Only Bombardier and SNC call SkyTrain light rail and only the gullible repeat this mistake.

    On another note, American transit professionals are now calling Seattle’s LRT, light-metro because 70% of the R-o-W is grade separated either in tunnel or on viaduct.

  4. Richard says:

    Uh, the City of Toronto called SkyTrain light rail in their Transit City light rail
    plan. Others have as well.

    Seattle would have been better off building it all grade separated. They then could have higher frequencies thus shorter stations. It would have cost them less for greater capacity. They are actually paying more for a lower capacity and lower frequency system than our SkyTrain.

    Unless the majority of the line is at grade, better just to build it all grade separated.

    Zwei replies: Richard, again you haven’t a clue what you are talking about and you are merely a parrot of anti LRT rhetoric. Frequency of operation is not dependent on quality of R-o-W, as many streetcar systems operate at 30 second headway’s during peak hours on portion of line. Stick to bicycles.

    As a matter of capacity, the contracted capacity of Seattle’s LRT is 18,000 pphpd which is 3,000 pphpd more than our SkyTrain Expo Line. You should read again Haveacows post about the costs involved with increased capacity on a transit line.

  5. Rico says:

    Actually I don’t think anyone disputes increasing capacity on a transit line costs a lot of money. Just the costs of extra vehicles/operations and maintainance is significant. That does not mean these costs should be used as fear mongering like you do here. For the Expo line we have a rough cost for increasing capacity through the Expo line upgrade study and while more than 1 billion dollars to upgrade the line to 25,000pphpd sounds like a lot that cost is spread over 30 years and includes the extra vehicles and extra operation and maintainance costs… lots of money, but not crazy. For the Canada line we are so far from needing any increased capacity beyond just adding new trains it is not really worth it to worry how much it will cost to expand the allready roughed in sections of the underground stations and add to the 40m aboveground stations. Unfortunately on the Canada line we do need to worry about the extra operation costs of extra trains because of the P3 contract. On the Expo line extra operation/maintainance costs per extra rider are tiny (thank you automated system) but the P3 contract takes that advantage away on the Canada line. For the record pretty sure the Canada line can run 28 trains and is currently only running 16, thats quite an increase without extensive upgrades.

    Zwei replies: There is another problem that is caused by SkyTrain. Because of its huge costs only single lines are built serving a large corridor (or what planners would like have served) and if the system goes down, there is chaos. With LRT, because of its cheaper costs, multiple lines are built and if problems occur on another line, the system has redundancy with other lines.

    Our transit system is designed around SkyTrain and/or light metro and not designed for good transit, in fact the “hub and spoke” transit philosophy has been largely discredited. Until the transit customer is included in the planning, our transit system and TransLink will always be held in high odor from the public. If the the plebiscite fails, it will be Translink and its dated transit planning that dug the grave and not Jordan Batemen

  6. Haveacow says:


    The Transit City Plan replaced the Scarborough RT with LRT technology and ran on the same right of way. In no version of the plan will the current Scarborough RT technology remain. That fight was decided years ago when the TTC said that they refused outright to keep investing in the technology because of the added costs of maintenance with the core elements of the technology and overly complex nature. Its only reporters and citizen groups and organizations like the Canadian Tax Payers Federation that keep talking about bringing it back because its automatic operating system, the CITYFLO 650, is a centre plank in their ability to union bust any of the existing transit unions.

    Marketing Tittle or Definition

    Remember the difference between a marketing name of Light Rail (one of Skytrain’ s many marketing tittles, in this case “Advanced Light Rail Transit) and the type of train operation called Light Rail, which in Canada has a legal status and describes a type of vehicle and a set of operating environments where it is legally allowed to operate.

    One of my many frustrations is to show clients that when you talk about a type rail service you have to get the tittle correct or you will confuse everyone. This is one of Skytrain’s issues, what is its proper name or tittle? Is it a Light Metro, which is a definition used by Transport Canada and the FTA in the USA. This tittle has a legal and operational definition and acts as a separate category of rail operations. Or is it ART, for Advanced Rapid Transit a marketing name used by Bombardier which describes the technological family of parts. Or the Innovia 300 Metro System, which is the marketing named used by Bombardier to describe this current generation’s family of vehicle types that use this common technology and is sold not as a rail vehicle for sale but a complete transport system complete with built in maintenance departments?

    Don’t even get me started when reporters call anything on a rail that carries passengers, as Commuter Rail!