After the hype during its opening months, the popularity of this 3.7 trillion IDR investment is slowly evaporating. This airport link has not completely become the most favourite transport mode amongst air passengers. According to PT Railink, the average occupancy is only at 30% of the total capacity.

The capacity of Railink has been improved over the year. By today, with the 6-car Bombardier EA203 type, it can accommodate 272 seating passengers in one go. With the frequency of 30 minutes, the maximum passengers per hour per direction (pphpd) touches 544. Even though this number is relatively low compared to other airport links, for example KLIA Express (624 pphpd), Airport Express Hong Kong (6216 pphpd), AREX Express Incheon (1824 pphpd) or Heathrow Express (1360 pphpd), it has potential to significantly reduce the stress of congestion on the airport spine road. If we assume 70% occupancy on every journey, Railink would be able to capture 23,610 passengers per day or 8.6 million per year, by disregarding non-passenger riders and Peak Hour Passenger factor at the airport. If the total origin-destination passengers at SHIA is 85% of 63 million annual passengers, Railink would be able contribute 16% shares of transport mode to and from the airport. It is considerably far better than the current share at around 5 to 7%. We can conclude that the train capacity is sufficient, but the share of Railink is unfortunately still below the line.

There is assumption that the main reason of SHIA Railink’s under-performance is also due to its fare, but it is not. Railink offers a competitive price of 70,000 IDR for one-way journey. DAMRI Bus, in the other hand, would cost 40,000 IDR between the airport and Gambir Station. That makes Railink is only 75% more expensive. In Hong Kong, the price to take a one-way journey with Airport Express is 115 HKD, 155% higher compare to average Hong Kong Airport Busses fare of around 40-50 HKD. The other extreme examples are Shanghai Maglev that charges 5 times than normal metro line to Longyang road station and KLIA Express with 450% (55 MYR) more expensive than airport bus/ coaches that only costs 10 MYR.

However, what should also be considered parallel with the price is the journey time. The more expensive price of airport links could worth 3 to 8 times extra speed from the slower mode. Even though Railink offers a fix duration of 46 minutes, it still has not yet reached the above-mentioned range. The issue does not only lie into the train speed, but also the way to get to the station, which brings us to the biggest concern and gap: connectivity.

Dedicated Airport Trains typically connects main transport hub in the city to airports’ terminal or Ground Transportation Center (GTC). Airport Express in Hong Kong, for example, connects Hong Kong International Airport at the arrival level with the main Central station in Hong Kong island, where the passengers have other options to change the transport modal including bus, metro and ferry. The Airport Express also makes stop at Kowloon station, which has been planned and recently opened for High Speed Train station to Mainland China. In Kuala Lumpur, KLIA Express train brings passengers from main terminal at KLIA1 and KLIA2 Gateway (landside commercial area and GTC) to KL Sentral, the main intermodal hub in the city. From here, the passenger will be directly offered other options of transport modal such as LRT, bus and intercity train.

Railink, however, attempts to connect Jakarta city center and the airport. But the key to minimize walking distance and level changes between transport modal is still missing. At the airport, Railink train stations are not connected to any of the three terminals. Instead, air passengers are required to change to the landside Airport People Mover (APM), so called Skytrain, to reach the closest APM station to terminal building. Ironically, from here, air passengers still not yet reach either the departure or arrival level. Worse still, from APM Terminal 1 and 2 stations, air passengers have to cross the kerb, which raises safety issue.

Similar concern occurs at the station in the city. The current main Railink station, Sudirman (BNI City) have not yet offered intermodal connectivity. Hence, without knowing the future expansion plan, the presence of this station feels like a random decision. Manggarai and Bekasi, in the other hand, offers better intermodality to commuter train line, but still not the best option for non-Jakartans. Unfortunately, due to existing capacity and security system at Gambir station, Railink has not yet picked up riders from here, leaving the biggest potential source of passengers: Those who are coming from other cities with regional KAI’s trains.

Text by Wahyu (#donotsettle)
Song by Blue Wednesday – New Shoes
Jakarta. 2018


Some local news is curated - Original might have been posted at a different date/ time! Click the source link for details.

22 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Really interesting! Thanks 🙂

  2. Happy New Year Wahyu and Kris !! 😀

  3. Not sure if it's failing or not, but this train also be an option for people who commute from jakarta to batuceper tangerang, it only cost half price (35k) and if you buy the ticket in group of 12 person you will get cheaper price (20k). There is also whatsapp group so you can order your ticket together. Sometimes in rush hours you will hardly get the ticket, even for the next train. It is more expensive compared to KRL (3k) but you will get a seat, with a charging port, toilet if you need it, and faster time.

  4. Interesting topic mas Wahyu! Love your video 🙂

  5. Yeayy, donotsettle is back!! :'D

  6. I agree with the things you consider anomalies and failures.
    It is also good to have you mention the APM's, which apparently they call "kalayang", along with the obviously afterthought bridge.
    Have you ever noticed how slowly the APM's move? I was really surprised the first time I saw that the APM system actually had a timetable! That means they only run a few times a day.
    You are the expert on airport design, but to me, they are unreasonably and unnecessarily slow.
    It's as if the whole system was not designed to integrate at all, and then they hired a sucker to integrate all.
    BTW, welcome back!

  7. We love your content guys! We hope to meet you one day!

  8. relax and chill bro.. this is new beginning for better public transportation in jakarta.. everything need time for improvement.. KL also the same as Jakarta before.

  9. Really nice and beautiful graphics, good music choice, nice presentation! I am impressed! Thanks for giving us this interesting perspective on Airport / transportation planning.

    To me it seems like the decision makers of this train go to the airport by either helicopter or car. This is why they don't yet understand the need of proper support infrastructure. I am glad you took this test ride and hope that they will follow your advise.

  10. According to the masterplan for Jakarta train network from DJKA (Direktorat Jendral perKereta Api-an) there would be 1 central hub in Jakarta, it will be Manggarai Central (MRI), and it's currently under construction, Manggarai Central would be the Hub for Train in Jakarta, the Intercity train, which currently split into 2 main station Gambir (GMR) and Pasar Senen (PSE), the airport link, and the Commuter Line, and of course Manggarai would also connected by Transjakarta and LRT Jakarta phase 2 from Velodrome to Dukuh Atas, and there's also a plan from MRT Jakarta to create a TOD in Dukuh Atas which will inter-connect the MRT, Commuter Line, Transjakarta and Airport Link. So there's still a lot of work to do, and hopefully all of them will be finished on time by 2020 :")) i know it's such a long time by we'll see

  11. Nice video! Hello from Italy!

  12. In micro scale (or short term) planning, these (the railway system, the additional railway building at SHIA, and how they performed/designed, etc) seem answer a good amount of the problems occurred before. Yes, they calculate the passengers number, the timing, the fares, the station choice, the track planning. But, if you look at a macro scale of the planning , you'll see that there are also many inefficiencies. Like, there are so many patch at the planning, that make the users experiences feel "it could be much better than this".

    I don't know, is it because the airport railway system not included in the first macro master plan? So now it's very hard (if not impossible) to fix the system to be more integrated with other modes of transportation (and Jakarta's city planning). And also very hard to design a new facilities (buildings) on an old planned site plan (of SHIA).

    Or, it just because too many parties/people/interests that intervenes the planning? As negative as it goes, maybe there's just many personal interests from the government. And as positive as it goes, it was just because of a very limited time (or money) on the planning.

    Well, one way or another, the thing is, it is not fully finished yet. Planning of Terminal 4, planning of 3rd runway, the LRT in Jakarta, maybe a new modes of transportation from Transjabodetabek (BPTJ), and maybe there's also a future development of Gambir, etc. There are still far more to go to the ultimate stage of the macro planning to be built to be judged, whether it really is a failure, or it is just not the time to shine yet.

    On second thought, in every planning there should be a target within a planned dateline. So when KAI and APII (or just Railink?) planning the airport railway system, what/how are the target will be for now (at the end of 2018)?


    aaah, it's almost 4 AM.. my words are so messed up.. what the hell am i saying up there? ?

  13. The sound is horrible, i can't understand what you're saying in the bus at all

  14. Haha I can see you’re hiding your “wtf” expression all the way through ? Great analysis dude!

  15. I heard they will make SHIA an aerotropolis, is that still on?

  16. Great content! You just need a clipped-in microphone

  17. misconception about "transit" oriented development?

  18. OMG just discover your channel from MUJI hotel video, TOTALLY LOVE YOUR CHANNEL!!!!!

  19. I was read the news that the passenger projection is 20.000 per day. Yes I agree with you, the problems are Price, limited destination, complicated directions and convenience


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