Manggarai Station is one of the busiest stations of the rail network studied ; Manggarai Station is one of the busiest stations of the rail network studied ;

Greater Jakarta Commuter Rail Revitalisation, Jakarta

Revitalising a commuter rail network to ease congestion and enhance operational performance

Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, is set to become the world’s largest city by 2030 - it is already one of the most congested. As the country’s economic hub, Jakarta’s infrastructure is stressed by the country’s growth. With mass movements of people each day into Jakarta, its commuter rail system, owned by the national rail operator Kereta Api, acts as a critical artery into the city’s heart and faces immense stresses and strains.

With such high levels of passengers not originally designed or planned for, the network’s infrastructure is under severe pressure. This, combined with its ageing (but functioning) rolling stock, operational complexities, level crossings and infrastructure incompatibilities with modern transport, have led Kereta Api to invest in creating a better journey experience for passengers across its vast network.

Starting with a 200km, almost century-old section of the network - with six commuter lines servicing over one million commuters daily - Arup’s urban rail specialists and planners from Indonesia, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom are helping Kereta Api identify the right operational improvements and investments to increase short, medium and long-term network capacity and provide better reliability. Our work will help tackle congestion by re-shaping the city’s rail network and provide more attractive options and better connections for communities across Greater Jakarta.

Project Summary


35.5m people living in Greater Jakarta

1mcommuters daily travel on the 200km stretch of network being analysed and tested by Arup

5000kmof railway track owned by Kereta Api

Our rail and digital specialists are excited to be working on this city shaping project. It will have real-world and tangible outcomes that will improve the city and people’s lives. A true transport shaping project, it will bring greater levels of service and capacity improvement and enhance the overall passenger travelling experience. ”

Gareth Jones head shot Gareth G Jones Infrastructure and Urban Rail Leader, Indonesia

Replicating a 200km network to assess operational issues and inform future investment

The key analysis tool to identify critical performance issues and constraints of the network has been our full-scale digital model of Jakarta’s commuter rail system. This replicates how the system works in near real life. Our team undertook an extensive data gathering process to create the digital model which contains delays, congestions and other issues of the real-life network – mirroring how it moves and acts day to day.

Our digital network model enables an unlimited range of scenarios to be tested - moving trains faster, adding more capacity, allowing additional people on platforms or potential timetable changes.

The analysis we undertake with the digital model will identify the merits of different solutions and the risks of implementation, and ultimately, the best approach for Kereta Api to manage its asset in order to deliver improvements in the network’s capacity and reliability.

Identifying critical performance issues and constraints

By pushing our digital model to the limit, we are identifying when the system will fail and what kind of infrastructure measures might be needed to prevent these failures - such as new signalling systems, new pieces of track or a flyover. Our work is also assessing how the commuter rail interfaces with the intercity, freight and airport link services.

Our operational planning experts are enthused by the technical challenges of this complex network. Building a model from scratch enables us to design all aspects, and our rail specialists have collaborated with Kereta Api to understand technical details of the infrastructure, track layout, rolling stock, timetables and signalling systems. The model will be calibrated rigorously against real-life performance data, ensuring it accurately represents operational performance and behaviours, and giving us confidence that our recommendations are robust. ”

Doug Pickering head shot Doug Pickering Senior Transport Planner

Gathering data through exemplar collaboration

We required extensive data to digitally model and robustly assess the operational performance of Jakarta’s complex commuter rail network. This was acquired through a multi-layered collaborative approach - including workshops, interviews with site and operational teams, building strong personal links, frequent site and headquarter visits and a range of coaching and education focussed activities.

Our analysis and advice will help Kereta Api achieve its goal of delivering a higher capacity network and more comfortable passenger experience. It will ultimately help to reduce the major congestion problems both on the rail and roads in Jakarta. Improving the city’s public transport system and levels of service will encourage a decline in private vehicle use, improvements in air quality and quality of life indexes, and significant reductions in economic losses because of traffic congestion which in 2017 was estimated to be US$5billion.

I am a daily user of commuter rail. It is by far the most effective transport across Greater Jakarta but there are many aspects that can be improved to create a better journey experience and increase the capacity. Being involved in this project is a great experience, knowing that our work will have a massive impact for the whole city. ”

Endah Wandari head shot Endah Wandari Graduate engineer