JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Construction is underway in the Indonesian capital for a long-awaited urban railway aimed at staving off crippling traffic gridlock.
Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo presided over a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to mark the beginning of the first phase of the 15.7 kilometer (9.7 miles) line from the southern Jakarta neighborhood of Lebak Bulus to central Jakarta.
The first phase includes seven elevated and six underground stations estimated to cost $1.5 billion, funded by two groups of local and Japanese companies. The target date for services to begin is the end of 2016.
The second phase of 8.1 kilometers (5 miles) northward is planned to be completed in 2018.
The project has been planned since the 1980s but implementation was hampered by red tape and funding disagreements.