In 2013, when I first took an abroad trip (as well as my first experience to fly and my first chance to do a self-managed trip), I was impressed with the modern Skytrain of Changi International Airport, Singapore. I remembered how Soekarno Hatta International Airport (SHIA) in my capital Jakarta struggling with shuttle buses to connect its three terminals. As a large and busy airport with 3 separated terminals, SHIA should have had such rail-based public transportation years ago. Finally, my dream came true this September when SHIA officially started to operate its Skytrain. 🙂
SHIA’s Skytrain is the first of its kind in Jakarta, and the third in South East Asia after Changi International Airport in Singapore and Aerotren in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia. Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Thailand has an airport train connecting the city, but it has no rail-based inter terminal public transportation.
Like in Singapore, Skytrain connects Terminal 1, 2, and 3 in Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. The stations are located outside the main terminal building, so you don’t need to enter the terminal (read: you don’t need to have a valid e-ticket or boarding pass) to ride the train, free. In T3, the station and the terminal are connected by a skybridge.
The stations, the platforms, and the trains are modern, clean, and comfortable. Each coach is air-conditioned, equipped with priority seats and voice-over telling you what the next station is. Each train has 2 coaches, carrying up to 176 people. Platforms are secured by some officers, guide the passengers to out and enter the train.
Currently this Skytrain of Jakarta Airport runs in certain hours: from 7:00-10:00, 13:00-14:00, and 17:00-19:00. But in the future, the train will run 24 hours with more frequent schedule.
It is actually an Automated People Mover (APM) system, but currently SHIA’s Skytrain is operated by driver and his assistants. In the future, it will be driverless.
I rode the Skytrain from Terminal 2, after I landed from Depati Amir Airport in Pangkal Pinang, Bangka Belitung. There were signs to inform direction to the Skytrain station, but they were small and less eye-catching. Then, I saw a station-like building in front of the terminal, but it has no sign telling that the building is the station. Instead, the sign was saying, “Parking Area”, so I kept walking until I reached some officers. I ask them, and one of them telling me that — yes, that “parking area” building is the Skytrain station.
The station was huge! But empty. Maybe that empty space is supposed to be filled by commercial tenants in the future. There was no air-con at the first floor. Then I hop on the long escalator and reached the platform. Please mind which terminal you are heading, do not take a wrong platform / direction. I thought I needed to wait in some moments, but then the train came in just a few minutes!
Watch my video below:
This December, the Soekarno Hatta International Airport of Jakarta will launch the Airport Train, called Railink or KRL Bandara / Kereta Bandara in Bahasa Indonesia. The train connects the airport with Sudirman Baru Station in Central Jakarta without any stops, equipped with charging port and clean toilet. But in the future, the train has stop at Batu Ceper, Duri, and also Manggarai Station when they’re ready. The fare is just IDR 30,000 (less than 3 USD) until 31st December 2017, before changing to the official price: IDR 100,000 (less than 10 USD). But still, the airport train is your best bet to beat the Jakarta unexpected traffic jam! i’ll let you know when the train starts to operate.
So, are you heading to Jakarta, Indonesia? Relax, this is a modern international airport with Skytrain (inter-terminal rail transit public transportation) and an airport train to the city. For further inquiries, shoot me a message on email or any social media channels (see the sidebar on the right). Welcome to Jakarta! 🙂