Thursday, June 26, 2008
Bandung Commuter Train Services
Text and picture ©Eki Qushay Akhwan
Bandung and its western and eastern vicinities are connected by a commuter train service called the KRD (Kereta Rel Diesel - or Diesel Train) from the town of Padalarang (about 20 km west of Bandung) to Cicalengka (about 25 km east of Bandung). The KRD is by far the most economical mode of transportation that is free from traffic congestions. Comfort and reliability, however, are out of the question. The trains are usually not very sanitary, crowded (especially during the morning and late afternoon rush hours), and frequently not on time.
There are two kinds of KRD service: The PATAS (which stands for Cepat Terbatas or Limited Express) and the standard. The former is a bit more expensive, but more sanitary and reliable. It still is very crowded during the rush hours. The latter is of course a lot cheaper at the expense of comfort and reliability.
According to its website, PT KAI (Indonesian Railway Company) is planning to have the KRD replaced by KRL (Kereta Rel Listrik - or Electric Train) in 2009. I hope this change will also result in better sanitation and reliability. I also hope that someday in the near future Bandung will have commuter train services that connect its other parts, north and south, to help reduce traffic congestions.
By the way, the people in the picture above were waiting for the KRD at the southern part of Bandung central station. There are not enough benches to sit at this part of the station. That's why some of those people were sitting on the floor. The northern part of the station is reserved for upper class intercity trains and has better facilities.
In the next posts, I'll take you on a KRD ride to see what it looks like onboard.
Bandung Daily Photo