What is the best way to get around in Jakarta?

There is a wide range of transportation in Jakarta, each of them answering to different needs. There is not one best way to get around, but different options that you have to know to make the best choice when going from point A to point B. Since there is a lack of common mass transportation (there is a lot of them actually but it's a huge mess and packed to the max), you will end up paying a lot for your transport in Jakarta if you have a lot of road to make.

Updated 2016:
Getting Around in Jakarta has just become must easier with several new apps. I encourage you to try one of the followings:
Gojek for getting ojeks (see below) and food delivery
Grab to get taxis (GrabTaxi), private cars (GrabCar) and ojeks (GrabBike)
Uber to get private cars (UberX), luxury cars (Uber Black) and ojeks (Uber Motor).
The prices for those services is cheaper than normal taxis and normal ojeks (at least 30% less).

During your stay in the capital, you might ride one of the following:

Man-powered rickshaw. Never tried, they have some in some areas of Glodok, it's more of an old Chinese women thing, and I don't think even tourists dare taking it.

It's the equivalent of the motorized rickshaws in India or the tuk-tuk in Thailand. They cannot use the main roads so they are pretty much limited to operate in a smalll area . Some drivers will tell you that they can take you from Kemang to Kota, but it's crazy.. Bajaj is ok for distances up to 1 km or so. I use them when I have a very short trip to make and i don't want to walk, for instance if i'm back from the grocery store, 800 meters from my house, or back from Pizza Hut and I have to hurry back home.

Price for a Tuk-Tuk: Never give less than Rp5,000. Less than 3 minutes ride between Rp5,000 and 10,000 rupiah. 3 minutes to 10 minutes: Between Rp10,000 and Rp20,000. More than 10 minutes: Get a taxi.

Motorbike-taxis. Very convenient because it is very easy to find one and they will help you avoid traffic. The price must be negotiated before, and usually it's about 20,000 to 40,000 rupiah for a 20 minutes ride.

If you use the applications Gojek, Uber Motor or GrabBike, the prices is much cheaper. It varies depending on traffic but you can expect to pay half of the normal rate

Read my articles: Why Ojeks are More Expensive than Taxis? (a bit outdated though since I wrote it before applications changed the city)

An anggot (or bemo or mikrolet) is a small van that picks up everyone on a well-defined route. It stops and goes approximately every 100 meters so it's not very fast and the worst part is the comfort since you are usually 8 or more in an area that should only accomodate 4 pygmies max.

The good part of it is that it's really cheap, around 2000 rupiah, no matter how far you go. I was using it on specific very short trip, like when I go to Mangga Dua Square from Stasiun Kota. Very local as well, people are usually amused to see bules in there.

Private buses
It's the cheapest way to make long connexions within the city (2000 rupiah), but during the day, they are extremely packed, hot and dirty and the safety is not the number one priority. At night, it can be OK because there are less people and it's not as hot. The most famous ones are the Kopaja (Koperasi Angkotan Jakarta, the green and white ones) and the MetroMini (the red and blue ones). Look at the letter of the buses, each one corresponds to an area: P= Pusat (centre of Jakarta), B= Barat (west), S=Selatan (South), U= Utara (North), T= Timur (East). Next to the letter, you have a number, that indicates the route.

For instance, the Kopaja S66 is the one that goes from Blok M to Manggarai. Once you memorize a few routes, it is not that bad to use.

It's pretty good compared to the rest, though it's rare that you can make a whole trip using only the Transjakarta since inter-connexions are still limited. They have their own dedicated lane, making it the fastest mean of transportation during the worst traffic hours. It is more expensive than a normal bus but the service (Rp3,5000) though imperfect, is much better than in Kopajas. I use it quite often, for instance from Plaza Indonesia to Kota.

You can see all the routes here: Map Transjakarta

There are a lot of taxi brands in Jakarta but most people use either Express or Blue Bird. The price currently starts at Rp6,500 and you'll pay about Rp50,000 for a 20 minutes ride.

A transfer from the airport to the city center (Jalan Sudirman) will cost you around Rp130,000 (50 minutes ride).

Most companies will use the "meter" but it's best to always ask before getting in to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Don't be paranoid about taxis in Jakarta. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you'll pay an additional two dollars because the driver took a longer road.

Personally I rarely use taxis anymore, I stick to Uber and Grab.

18 comments to '' Getting Around in Jakarta in 2016 "

  1. What is the best way to go from the airport to the center (I will stay in the backpacker street of Jalan Jaksa)? By best im mean the way that is cheap, fast, and reliable.. Thanks a lot, and thank you for your website, the best of its kind about Jakarta in my opinion! Matthew

  2. Matt you basically have 2 options the taxi which would cost around 100,000Rps including toll or the 20,000Rp bus to gambir. For me I would the take the taxi.

  3. If your budget is tight, i would try to find a fellow backpacker and share the cab with him.. i always find one, either in the same plane as me or in another, and i ask him if he is going downtown... very easy to spot: young guy, not shaved, with a backpack who seems lost... good luck!

  4. it's "angkot" not "anggot". Angkot stands for ANGkutan dalam KOTa (inner city transport).

  5. From Airport to the city center (such as Jalan Jaksa), you can go by Taxi. There are many taxi there, but from Bluebird company (eithe Bluebird or Silver Bird) taxi is very reliable and very safe. It will cost you about IDR (Indonesia Rupiah) 150.000 (around USD 15), not including the toll road fare.

    The other option is by BUS operated by government, it's called BUS DAMRI. they have many routes, and the fare is IDR 20.000 to IDR 30.000 (which is around USD 2 ~ USD 3).

    If you arrived in bussy hour (i.e. 7~10 am or 4~7pm), it's better to use DAMRI bus. If you use taxi on those busy hour you will pay more since there are traffic jam.

    To go to jalan Jaksa, the closest DAMRI bus route is GAMBIR train station.
    From Gambir you can walk to Jalan Jaksa, or you can use OJEG, or Bajaj.

  6. Additional info: nowadays there are government operated Bus called BUSWAY (TRANSJAKARTA). Until date there are 8 routes.
    You can enjoy it with only IDR 3500 (USD 35 cent), and you can change between route in the interchange without need to pay, as far as you don't go out the bus halte.

    The BUSWAY (TRansjakarta) is quite good bus, with aircon and security guard in every bus.
    They use special line on the road, so make it faster to get to your destination.

    During busy hour, the bus will full of proffesional worker. So, if you want to try this, you can do after office hour. The bus operating until 10 pm.

  7. Any one know of a railway map for west java? Want to surf in Cimaja on weekends and there is a station near there by a map I saw. I also have a station near me in Tangerang. Do they connect in any way? Schedule? Any help appreciated.heindi

  8. I think the best way is to go to Bogor by train, then take a bus to Pelabuhan Ratu... Or maybe go to Sukabumi first by bus too.. Anyway, you will have to take the bus because there is no train going to Cimaja... Anyone else is welcome to correct me if I'm wrong..

  9. could you give me contact or infos for my own car with driver, i will need it for 2-3 months,i am looking for a wife

  10. hi, can anyone recommend be how much it will cost me from airport to IBIS hotel (mangga dua) using taxi service? Thanks very much.. really love this blog.

  11. Should be between 120,000rp and 150,000rp...

  12. Hi is that save to get rent a car with driver?
    I got it, tour in the city 400,000 rp for 10 hours to go around the city. Driver with car but petrol and parking i pay myself.

  13. Why is'nt the train mentioned for transport within jakarta, Trains from Kota to Cikini are very practical, and lots of stations in between.

  14. Additional info:

    Transjakarta NOW have 13 routes, they usually jam-packed at morning when people go to work (7-9AM) and afternoon when people go home from work (5-8PM). Outside of these times, Transjakarta is usually empty and comfortable to ride. Link to Transjakarta route map: http://www.transjakarta.co.id/rute.php or http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daftar_koridor_Transjakarta

    They have KOPAJA AC bus service (limited route S13: Ragunan Belakang - Grogol & S602 Ragunan - Monas) that you can ride from Transjakarta shelter too. The ticket price is IDR 6000 (around 60cents).

    If you lost & need help, you can ask fellow passenger waiting in the line, not all Indonesians can speak English fluently but we will always try to help you, otherwise you can ask someone who looks like student / working people, they usually can speak English fluently.

    Patas AC Bus is good to travel for longer route too, they cost you a little more than non air-con bus (around few cents to 1$) but usually they are safer than non air-con bus. -as Indonesians, i find out that most of the time, pickpocket don't target foreigner…and they seem a bit scared (or stunned) as well-

    Happy traveling! :D

  15. You can use commuter line train as well, lots of routes and stations, not as gooad as trains or subways in singapore or malaysia because the waiting time range from 15-30 minutes between train but it is very quick and no traffic jam! There 3 interchange stations,,,recently I started to see some foreigner use commuter line train, the price is cheap, around 5000-10000 rupiahs,,,,,all trains are air conditioned although some air con maybe malfunctoned, so please avoid busy hours between 6.30-8 am and 4-7 pm in workdays because at that time the trains are packed with people and with a malfunctioned ar con you will drenched in sweat.....

  16. hello for anyone who wants to get traveled around Jakarta, just text/call me for further information. +6281288151791. my name is ezra and I'll take you to the best way to travel around Jakarta.
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  17. Hey I am landing next week and am essentially there on business, but my evenings will be free. I am quite clueless about Jakarta as this is my first time there and I havent had enough time to wrap my head around how to make the best use of my leisure time there! I am putting up at a hotel in Kuningan...any tips on what I can do with 4 evenings? I am a foodie and love local culture and arts...not too big on partying except a nice beer or wine bar with Jazz maybe? Help!!

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    Public Transportation in Jakarta | Jakarta Airport Pick Up