MRT Jakarta from Dukuh Atas BNI to Bundaran HI by Ratangga Train

Hello and welcome to my first-ever MRT Jakarta ride, the newest rail rapid transit system in ASEAN! After almost 40 years of planning and construction, the almost fully-Japanese Phase 1 of the MRT Jakarta has finally commenced operations on 24 March 2019, inaugurated by President Joko Widodo. This short trip to Jakarta is simply to try out the MRT Jakarta, the latest development in Jakarta.

On first impression, the MRT Jakarta kind of shocked me as there are no down-riding escalators at Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station. Trust me, I walked to all 5 exits to find them.

Heading down the long flight of stairs into Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station.

The ticket concourse level of Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station.

The ticket office at Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station, which was out of service during my trip as it was still a free trial weekend.

Only one ticket vending machine is available beside the staffed ticket counter – an obviously predictable problem especially since the exit I came down from leads from the KRL and Railink stations.

The area location map of Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station, showing the radii of 400 meters and 800 meters from the station.

The 3D station map of Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station.

The system map of the MRT Jakarta.

My pre-registered MRT Jakarta Trial Run ticket from Bukalapak. Registration was compulsory in order to try out the MRT Jakarta for free.

Registration is also available on the spot if you did not know about the pre-registration or do not have internet access, though you would have to queue up for it.

Heading straight to the gate with my printed ticket, checked by the staff at the gate.

The very Japanese faregates of the MRT Jakarta, which were not activated during the trial run period.

Similar to the exits, the platform is served by one up-riding escalator and a staircase.

Elevators are also available, which I can predict will get busy.

Heading down the staircase to the platform.

The staircase heads out a bit too far from the escalator in my opinion, which may prove scary for those afraid of heights and not very convenient for ladies with short skirts especially since the side of the staircase is just a metal handrail without any opaque covering.

The island platform of Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station.

The station name of Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station, where Dukuh Atas is the actual name and BNI is part of the naming rights programme.

The route map of the MRT Jakarta towards Lebak Bulus Grab.

I headed to Bundaran HI first, the terminal station under the central business district of Jakarta just one stop away.

The route map of the MRT Jakarta towards Bundaran HI.

Around the station, there are advertisements telling commuters to switch to the new Jak Lingko card for integrated fares on public transport around Jakarta.

Last-minute queue lines are also set up on the platforms.

Another style of station signs found on the walls within the station.

My train to Bundaran HI arriving.

Despite being only the trial period, the train was already fitted with full exterior and interior ads. However, as it was too full, I could not get on, and had to wait for the next train instead.

The next train was almost as equally full…

… but there was space at the door for just 1 more person.

Inside my very first MRT Jakarta ride. Feels just like Tokyo. Hmm.

The route information above the doors were simple and clear.

Escalator, staircase and elevator locations are also shown when the train is arriving at the station.

Disembarking at Bundaran HI station. As most passengers did not disembark here, the crowd at the platform were also struggling to get in.

The constant 10-minute frequency did not help with relieving the crowd.

I could not believe it – only stairs were available on this end of the platform. Not a bright idea at all for the newest rapid transit system in ASEAN and the world.

Exiting through the fare gates to see what’s outside.

There were some exits closed, so I made my way around the concourse level to see where I could go.

Apparently I accidentally made a mistake as no one was allowed back into the platform due to the crowd downstairs. Great.

As I was walking around the concourse area to see where I could get out of the station from, since getting back on the train was currently not an option, I accidentally found the new entrance/exit to the TransJakarta BRT Halt.

The new TransJakarta fare gates are located on the concourse level, below the halt.

Tapping my OK OTrip card onto the reader on the TransJakarta fare gate.

Heading up to the Bundaran HI TransJakarta Halt.

Great, more stairs.

The island platform of Bundaran HI TransJakarta Halt.

The reverse view of the stairs, facing the MRT Jakarta.

The location map of the newly-reinstated  Bundaran HI TransJakarta Halt, showing the new exits to the MRT Jakarta and out to the main road via a new at-grade crossing.

Some of the new platform screen doors were broken already.

From here, I got onto the high-frequency TransJakarta Corridor 1 back to Tosari ICBC for Dukuh Atas BNI MRT Station, a journey which took me less than 5 minutes in total inclusive of waiting.

Overall, it was a poor first impression as throughout this entire journey, there was not a single escalator ride that I took due to the non-existence of it, and the MRT stations weren’t exactly very shallow too. The very slow 10-minute frequency doesn’t look acceptable for possibly ASEAN’s most congested city too. Moreover, I couldn’t even get back to the train after exiting even if I wanted to as the heavy crowd meant that entrance to the platform area and even station exits were closed.

At the end of the day, the trusty TransJakarta BRT was there to save the day.


    1. I’m pretty sure that Japanese metro stations, especially busy ones, have downriding escalators.

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