When we arrive in a new city, the first thing we are thinking about is „how to get to our hotel?“. So what is really important for us? You’re right, it’s transportation! As we think that every traveler does need to know a lot about transportation before coming to a city, we want to introduce you to a new series on traveluxblog: Transportation in … Jakarta!
Jakarta. What a weird choice for a first article about transportation. Is there even something like public transportation? Tourists sometimes think that you are depending on a taxi in Jakarta, but that’s not true, there are several other ways to come around in the city as well.
First of all there is the new “Transjakarta” system that is operated by modern (!) buses that are comfortable when not crowded.
With Transjakarta you’ll have a good connection to all major places in the city for a relatively cheap price. The buses got special lanes, so most passengers do reach their destination faster as when travelling with a taxi. The system is also frequently used by the citizens.
Apart from the new bus system in Jakarta, the city plans to introduce a new mass rapid transport system (MRT) operated by underground trains by 2018. For the moment, tourists and citizens have to rely on regional trains that are just offering a few routes through the city.
The trains are okay to use, tickets can be bought at the stations. Travelling by train is cheap and way faster than going by car, so it may be a really good alternative for choosing a taxi. Anyway, the system is so small that only a few points around the city are connected with the train network.
That’s why taxis are the most common means of transport in Jakarta. There are several different companies, most of them working with taximeters. For tourists, taxis of the Blue Bird Company (including Pusaka) are recommended. There were many cases of fraud with taxi drivers from other companies in the last year, so following this hint may be a good idea. Fares are cheap compared to European standards.
Apart from ordinary taxis, there are also executive taxis that offer a more comfortable experience. They are called “Silver Bird” or “Golden Bird” and operate with higher fares in more modern and expensive cars.
Apart from the mentioned Transjakarta network that was introduced in the last years, there are also ordinary buses in the city. Those are operating in a way bigger network, connecting all spots in the city with each other. Anyway, tourists should deny taking these buses as the comfort is extremely low and driving is not really safe.
Also, if you are not speaking Indonesian, you’ll have a hard time buying tickets or understand the system. The prices however are even cheaper than the ones of the Transjakarta network.
Jakarta would not be Jakarta if there would not be some more special means of transport. The “angkutan kota“ are vans operating on something like a route map. Metromini and Kopaja are public mini buses. Both systems are mainly used by citizens and are as tough to understand or come along with for tourists as the „normal“ buses.
Moreover, there are “Bajaj” (kind of a bicycle) that experienced travelers may know from India and “Ojek” (motorcycle drivers). These are also taking citizens and tourists to every spot in the city. Travelling with these means is very cheap, but travelers deciding to take a Bajaj or Ojek should be aware that haggling may be needed to get a fair price.