THE CHALLENGE OF DEVELOPING HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROJECTS: RECENT EVIDENCE FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Keywords:High-speed rail, Indonesia, Travel time, Ridership, Transit oriented development
The plan by Indonesian government to build a high-speed rail (HSR) has previously existed for years. Both the Japanese and Chinese government had both showed interest in the project, and both of them have the technological capacity to build a railway that would connect Jakarta and Bandung. This project was however awarded to China because they made a provision of soft loans for the project, while Japan on the other hand wanted the Indonesian government to completely provide the fund required to execute the project from the beginning to the end of the project. The proposed construction of the railway lines will cut travel time between Jakarta and Bandung from about three hours by car to just 45 minutes only. The project will include integration of the HSR with developments along its corridor through transit oriented developments. The line would attract around 10 million passengers per year in first year of operation, this is because of Jakarta’s huge population size in addition to the number of pairs of destinations that the HSR would connect. However, even the KL – SG HSR project signed an agreement on February 2013, it is noteworthy to mention that the surprising
decision arrived not long after the newly elected Malaysian prime minister raised the possibility of dropping the project because of its cost implications.