Jakarta: Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir officiated the Garut Station and reactivation of the Garut-Cibatu railway line here on Thursday.
Minister Sumadi remarked that by reactivating the railway line, people in Garut and the adjoining areas could henceforth avail affordable train services.
"The people of Garut should be proud of this reactivation. This is in line with President Joko Widodo's vision and mission, especially in actualizing rail connectivity," Karya noted in his speech.
In addition to the railway line, the minister officiated the Cikuray and Garut Cibatuan trains.
Sumadi said that reactivation of the line, which had been defunct for four decades, was expected to encourage people to switch to using trains to and from Garut.
The Transportation Ministry, through the Directorate General of Railways, also provides support in the form of PSO subsidies.
This subsidy will help to reduce the price of train tickets for the Pasar Senen-Garut track in order to increase public interest through affordable prices.
In addition, he expects that reactivation of the railway lines and train would be able to tap into Garut's tourism potential.
The ministry remains committed to pursuing connectivity through various modes of transportation across the country, he stated.
On the other hand, SOE Minister Thohir noted that collaboration was the key to success in order to revive the defunct railway line that had been non-operational for 40 years.
Thohir remarked that the unifying vision of all stakeholders, including ministries and institutions, regional governments, and the community was vital to revive regional tourism battered by the pandemic.
"I believe this reactivation will create job vacancies and improve the community's economy," Thohir noted.
The minister stated that reactivation of this route was deemed important to support the Garut District Tourism Strategic Area.
Community connectivity from and to railway stations in Cibatu to Garut is one of the important factors to optimize tourism potential in the area.
"I and the transportation minister will continue to collaborate in other areas," he affirmed.
The ministers' entourage include spokesperson for the Transportation Ministry Adita Irawati, Head of Garut District Rudy Gunawan, Director General of Railways Zulfikri, and President Director of PT KAI Didiek Hartantyo.