Indonesia has inaugurated its first high-speed railway, a $7.3 billion project backed by China under its Belt and Road Initiative.
According to BBC News, President Joko Widodo opened the service to the public October 2. Named Whoosh — a Bahasa Indonesia acronym that translates to time-saving and reliable — it connects the capital Jakarta to Bandung, a top economic hub, and is designed to ease the country's severe traffic jams.
The railway was originally scheduled to open in 2019 but was delayed due to land disputes, the COVID-19 pandemic and a $1.2 billion budget overrun.
Whoosh is operated by PT KCIC, a joint venture made up of four Indonesian state companies and Beijing's China Railway International.
Indonesian officials say the high-speed railway is expected to improve economic productivity. They also tout the fact that the trains are powered by electricity, which will help reduce the country's carbon footprint.
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