In order to tackle Jakarta's grave traffic problem, brought on by a lack of quantity and quality of infrastructure and public transportation in combination with millions of daily travelers, governor Joko Widodo has given great priority to the development of the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT). Similar to the Sunda Strait Bridge, Jakarta's MRT project has been a topic of heated discussion and study for decades. However, pressure from Jakarta's governor Joko Widodo (who is better known as Jokowi) put an end to the lingering delay.
In early May 2013, Jokowi launched the MRT project at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, an icon of the city, in Central Jakarta. Below the traffic circle, one of the stations of the MRT project will be built. This station is part of the first phase of the MRT track (costing about USD $365.5 million) and will connect Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta) to the traffic circle through a 15.7 kilometer long rail track. This track will have 13 stations, consisting of six underground stations and seven elevated stations. According to director of PT MRT Jakarta, Dono Boestami, construction is projected to start in October 2013, precisely one year after Jokowi commenced his term as governor of Jakarta. When finished in 2017, the MRT system is expected to handle 173,000 passengers per day, a number which will only slightly reduce the heavy traffic problems of Indonesia's capital city.
The MRT project consists of eight packages. Two consortia have been appointed to construct the first three packages. The first one is the consortium of Shimitsu Kobayashi, Wijaya Karya and Jaya Konstruksi, which will construct two underground packages. The second consortium is made up of Sumitomo Mitsui and Hutama Karya. Tenders for the other five packages are still underway.