21 Mar 2024

History of the MRT Jakarta, from 1985 to the Present

by:Eva Simorangkir

Editor:Ramdan Malik Batubara, Aditya Gagat Hanggara

21 Mar 2024

Every day, we are accustomed to engaging in various activities. Technological advancements have also expanded mobility options, such as public transportation. What's your favourite? In Jakarta, we have the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). Rome wasn't built in a day, neither was the construction of this transit system. It surely went through many stages. So, what's its history? Let's discuss it now!


MRT Jakarta. Source: Jakarta Smart City


The Origin of MRT Jakarta

The MRT has been serving its passengers for five years. 24 March is set as MRT Day, coinciding with its first operation. But, its journey went by beyond that. Can you guess when it was established?

Apparently, PT Mass Rapid Transit Jakarta (PT MRT Jakarta) was established on 17 June 2008. That time, it was a Regional-Owned Enterprise (BUMD/Badan Usaha Milik Daerah) of the Jakarta Provincial Government. Its scope of activities includes:

  • infrastructure and facility development of MRT,
  • operation and maintenance (O&M),
  • MRT infrastructure and facilities, and
  • development and management of properties/businesses at stations and surrounding areas as well as depots.

The idea of ​​developing the MRT Jakarta actually started in 1985. This arose from an assessment  by Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi, which stated that mobility in Jakarta was high. Hence, transportation modes like MRT were needed to support the mobility of Jakarta residents.

In 2005, the President of the Republic of Indonesia finally declared MRT Jakarta as a national project. After that, the construction was done gradually from year to year:

2008–2009: technical design and land acquisition

2013: construction phase

2019: first operation of Phase I

MRT Jakarta before operating. Source: YouTube MRTv

MRT Jakarta before operating. Source: YouTube MRTv


The construction of MRT Jakarta involved various parties from abroad. JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) signed financing agreements, whilst JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) was present as an assessment team.


MRT Jakarta As of Now

MRT Jakarta has a motto that says "Increasing mobility, improving life quality." Like its motto, to this day, MRT has accompanied Smartcitizens in Jakarta for recreation and even to complete a series of obligations. Which part of Jakarta have you explored together with MRT?

MRT Jakarta spans approximately 16 kilometers from Lebak Bulus to Bundaran HI. The schedule and routes of MRT journeys are available on jakartamrt.co.id. Here is a list of MRT Jakarta stations as of 2024:

elevated stations:

  1. Lebak Bulus Grab Station;
  2. Fatmawati Indomaret Station;
  3. Cipete Raya Station;
  4. Haji Nawi Station;
  5. Blok A Station;
  6. Blok M BCA Station;
  7. ASEAN Station;

underground stations:

  1. Senayan Mastercard Station;
  2. Istora Mandiri Station;
  3. Bendungan Hilir Station;
  4. Setiabudi Astra Station;
  5. Dukuh Atas BNI Station; and
  6. Bundaran HI Station.

MRT Jakarta as of now. Source: Jakarta Smart CityMRT Jakarta as of now. Source: Jakarta Smart City

MRT Jakarta as of now. Source: Jakarta Smart City

Those stations are part of Phase 1 of the MRT project. Now, Phase 2A is underway. That means, we will all be able to explore Jakarta further with MRT. Here is the route of MRT Jakarta Phase 2A:

  1. Thamrin;
  2. Monas;
  3. Harmoni;
  4. Sawah Besar;
  5. Mangga Besar;
  6. Glodok; and
  7. Kota.


MRT Jakarta Phase 2A. Source: Twitter @mrtjakarta

MRT Jakarta Phase 2A. Source: Twitter @mrtjakarta


Also read: Get to know, TransJakarta Route Changes During MRT Construction


The MRT Jakarta Phase 2A project is being done with the concept of TOD (Transit-Oriented Development). That will let us continue our journey with other transportation modes integrated with the MRT station. How cool!

The operational hours  of MRT Jakarta are every day from 05:00–24:00 WIB. Each train departure is normally spaced every 10 minutes and every 5 minutes during rush hours. This is why MRT can be your choice if you want to fleet rapidly. 

Even Stronger After Coved-19 Pandemic

Looking back, there were some adjustments during the Covid-19 pandemic. To support the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB/Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar), only a few stations operated: Bundaran HI, Dukuh Atas BNI, Blok M BCA, Cipete Raya, Fatmawati, and Lebak Bulus Grab). The number of passengers per train set was also limited to 390 people.

Now, MRT Jakarta operates normally. The number of passengers continues to increase, reaching 33,496,540in 2023. Awesome, isn’t it?


Passenger numbers of MRT Jakarta every year. Source: Twitter @mrtjakartaPassenger numbers of MRT Jakarta every year. Source: Twitter @mrtjakarta

Passenger numbers of MRT Jakarta every year. Source: Twitter @mrtjakarta

To ride the MRT, you don't need to bother carrying coins or notes. You can use cashless payment methods, such as:

  • Electronic Money Cards like BRIZZI, e-money, TapCash, Flazz, jakcard, JakLingko, or KMT (Kartu Multi Trip Commuterline Card);
  • QR Tickets on the MyMRTJ application through online payment networks.


Ramadan with MRT: Regulations and Ngabuburit Places

Some of us still have to be active outside during the time of breaking the fast. Well, the MRT allows its passengers to break their fast  when the time comes and up to a maximum of 10 minutes afterward. If you are inside the train, you may consume mineral water and dates. As for other types of food and beverages, they can be consumed at indoor stores or outside the train.


Regulations during fasting month at MRT stations. Source: Twitter @mrtjakarta

Regulations during fasting month at MRT stations. Source: Twitter @mrtjakarta


Want to do ngabuburit or hang out before breaking the fast? Yes, please! There are several cool areas around the MRT. Try visiting:


JAKI Makes It East to See MRT Information

JAKIis here as a super Jakarta application that makes your needs done easy. Using the Public Transport feature, you can check information on various modes of transportation in Jakarta: MRT, LRT, Transjakarta, and Mikrotrans. But, how? First, download JAKI, then follow these steps:

  1. type Public Transportation in the search bar;
  2. click on your preferred mode of transportation; and
  3. view the information, such as operating hours, maximum fares, schedules, and routes.


Also read: Take a Peek at JAKI Public Transport Feature

We have felt the positive impact of the presence of the MRT. Hopefully, the beautiful days spent in Jakarta with the MRT will continue to increase. Don't forget to always support its development, so that we can save up, reduce congestion in Jakarta, and improve the quality of life for all. If you look for more information about the MRT or others, don't forget to follow @jsclabon social media!

Authors and Editor

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