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March 2, 2021, 06.21 PM

YOGYAKARTA, - President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo inaugurated the operation of the Yogyakarta-Solo electric train service (KRL) on Monday, March 1.

"Alhamdulillah [Praise be to God], today we will inaugurate and operate the Yogyakarta-Solo electric train service, using an eco-friendly technology in the mass transportation," Jokowi said in a ceremony at Yogyakarta Tugu Station.

This electric train service is replacing the previous diesel train service (KRD) served by the Prambanan Ekspres (Prameks) . Currently, Prameks is still around but its route has changed to Kutoarjo-Yogyakarta in Central Java. 

Before the official launch, the KRL has also undergone a trial phase, serving the public for free transportation. 

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Immediately after the launch, Jokowi also tried to commute with the KRL from Tugu Station to Klaten Station. Accompanying him were Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo.

Also in attendance were Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, State Secretary Pratikno, and Director of KAI Ltd. Didiek Hartantyo.

Eco-friendly and efficient transportation

At the inauguration, Jokowi said the Yogyakarta-Solo commuter line was very efficient as its  operational costs are cheaper than its predecessor, the Prameks.

"In terms of operating costs, it is cheaper. It was 640, now it is 290. The efficiency is very good," Jokowi said.

The travel time from Yogyakarta will take around 68 minutes, while the Prameks will need an average time of 75 minutes after seven stops.

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In terms of user capacity, the commuter line also serves more passengers. With a total of four trains, it can serve 1,600 people per trip. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, 
state-owned train operator PT KAI Commuter would limit the number of passengers in following health protocols. 

Jokowi also underscored the importance of using eco-friendly mass transportation in the future. 

"This is an eco-friendly mode of mass transportation. I was informed that the commuter line is 10 minutes faster than Prameks," he said at Yogyakarta Tugu Station.

Discourse on extending the route to Madiun

The Ministry of Transportation plans to extend the routes from Yogyakarta and Solo in Central Java to Madiun in East Java.

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The ministry's spokesperson Adita Irawati said that the number of commuter line services will be increased in the future. 

"It will be extended not only from Yogyakarta to the north side of the city but also to the east side. It's certainly part of a long-term plan," said Aditia at Klaten Station in Central Java.

However, the focus now is to serve the Yogyakarta-Solo route and will continue to evaluate the service based on the feedback from its users. 

The government hoped that the newly inaugurated Yogyakarta-Solo commuter line could boost the tourism industry between the two cities and other economic sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic. 

(Writers: Wisang Seto Pangaribowo, Labib Zamani, Muhammad Choirul Anwar| Editors: Khairina, Teuku Muhammad Valdy Arief, Muhammad Choirul Anwar)



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