For the many years Jakartans have entertained the idea of a reliable mode of transportation, Jakarta’s Moda Raya Terpadu (Mass Rapid Transit, or its cool name, the MRT) is well due and above all, welcomed. They’re the new addition to the city after the years of painful traffic-causing constructions that most of us have likely cursed about. Regardless, it’s here to finally relieve our commuting pain and show a different side of Jakarta
Though it took a few decades, a few halted and failed projects and a number of presidents later to finally make it happen, Jakartans are stoked. With the first line stretching 16KM from the most southern hub in Lebak Bulus to Central Jakarta’s Bundaran HI through Fatmawati street, Blok M, and Sudirman, one can finally can make the way in less than half an hour. Like sweet music to one’s ear, it’s every Jakartan’s dreams of cutting through the rough congestion during rush hour and any other occasion.
More likely than not, the MRT also stirs the unprecedented excitement for the different and new sights of the city. Looking out the train, commuters see the far stretch of South Jakarta, the one where buildings and houses are chaotically organised before the train enters the underground tracks in Senayan. It’s also the moment where every child on their first MRT trip would gasp in surprise.
For how seemingly convenient and fun the MRT is designed to be, one can only hope to keep it this way. Perhaps it’s still the newness of it that stimulates many riders to behave in questionable ways. The stairs leading up the stations may be a bit harsh too. But they’re nothing too much that a Jakartan can’t adapt to and be better at. In the end, the MRT will remain a milestone of this city and this generation. The former because it’s a monumental addition to our home, and the latter because getting around the city has become less burdensome, along with the addition of a good dash of workout to our routines.