Article updated in May 2021.

It is a challenge to get around in Jakarta. The city is huge, its streets are clogged by traffic jams, and the public transportation system is underdeveloped.

But don't despair yet. Knowing the different options available for transportation can save you some time, money, and energy. This is why I wrote this article which is based on my experience living in Jakarta for over 10 years. Hopefully, it will be useful to you during your stay!

Transportation Apps in Jakarta

The easiest way to get around in Jakarta is to use one of the two main transportation apps available in Indonesia: Gojek (locally-owned) and Grab (Malaysian-owned). The brand Uber doesn't exist anymore in Southeast Asia as it merged with Grab.

Most people I know have both apps installed on their phones and they use them interchangeably. Personally, I tend to prefer Grab, but on a longer trip, I will often check if it is cheaper on Gojek. I also keep an eye on promotions in case there are some discounts or freebies.

Grab and Gojek are actually much more than transportation apps. Among other things, they can be used for:
- Booking a car or a motorbike ride
- Ordering food online
- Delivering a package
- Paying for your bills, for your phone credit, to top up game vouchers
- Consulting with a doctor
- Finding someone to clean your house or repair something
- Buying groceries online

The one thing that interests us here is the car/motorbike booking function. It is really easy to use, all you need to do is to enter your home address, your destination, and the type of vehicle you want to ride.

The cost is reasonable compared to Europe. A car ride will cost you about IDR40,000 for 20 minutes, and a bike ride will cost you half that. Prices are not set, they obey the law of supply and demand. During rush hours, don't be surprised if your bill is 2 or 3 times higher than normal.

You can pay by cash directly to the driver, by card on the app, or by using the app's electronic wallet.

Grab has GrabPay, which is related to the OVO payment platform, and Gojek has GoPay. I recommend you to add money to these wallets as you will get cheaper rides. Another benefit of GoPay and GrabPay is that you can use that money in real life in most shops in the country (often with a discount).

If the trip requires it, some drivers may suggest to take the toll road. If you say yes, you can either pay the toll with an e-money card, or ask the driver to add the cost to your final bill. If you choose the latter, beware as some drivers may overcharge you.

Public Transportation in Jakarta

There aren't many foreigners who use the public transportation system in Jakarta because it is so much cheaper and convenient to just order Grab/Gojek.

On longer trips, it can be pricey so you may want to check if there is any convenient way to go to your destination by bus, by train, or by metro. In some cases, it can also be faster to use the public transport.

Personally, I often check my trip on the Google Maps app to see if i can save a significant amount of time/money. For instance, to go from Kota Tua to Sarinah takes 28 minutes with TransJakarta (line 1) for a cost of IDR3,500. The same trip with Grab costs 5X to 10X more.
The thing you have to consider with public transportation in Jakarta is that you often have complications: Long queues, late schedule, or overcrowded vehicles. You will also probably get tired and sweaty from walking to the station and waiting without air-con.

There are several options you can use to get around in Jakarta by public transport:

TransJakarta
This is a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system with around 20 lines, most of which have dedicated lanes. These allow to beat the traffic, which is very convenient during rush hours.

It is a fairly good option if your departure and destination are not too far from a bus halt, and if you don't need to switch line more than once. Unfortunately, this doesn't happen very often and this is probably why many people still prefer using their cars.

To pay for your fare, you need to use an e-money card such as BRIZZI, Flazz, Tapcash, or e-Toll Card. If you don't have one, don't worry as you can buy one at most halts. You can them top it up with the amount you want, considering the a 1-way fare costs IDR 3,500.

You can see all the routes here: Map Transjakarta

Other buses (MetroMini or Kopaja)
Apart from TransJakarta, there are other buses, usually smaller, slower and less comfortable.

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 (center 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. 

I actually take these buses from time to time and they can be convenient. What I like is that there are so many of them, and that you can just jump inside one at almost anytime. You can pay your fare directly to the driver, usually in cash or by e-money card.

Airport Buses:
DAMRI and JA Connexion operate buses between the CGK airport and several locations in Jakarta (Taman Anggrek, Thamrin, Gambir, Kelapa Gading, Mangga Dua). There is one every 15-30 minutes and they cost around IDR40,000-50,000. You can take them from any terminal in the airport. 

MRT
The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit, a fancy name for the Metro) is great but there is only 1 line from the South to the City Center (Sarinah). It is quite easy and straight-forward to use. You can either pay your fare with an e-money card, or a card delivered at the MRT counter. The cost depends on your destination, from IDR4,000 for 1 station, to IDR14,000 for the trip from Lebak Bulus to Sarinah.

Check the MRT map here.

Other trains (KRL, LRT, Railink)
There are some other mass rapid transportation system such as the KRL (suburban trains) and the LRT (elevated trains).

The KRL trains are only interesting if you plan to visit cities outside Jakarta like Bogor, Bekasi, Depok or Tangerang. They are quite comfortable (when not overcrowded), and they have AC. The price is reasonable (between IDR3,000 and IDR7,000 for a trip). You need to buy a KMT card to get access to the train (at the cost of IDR30,000). This is the KRL map.

The LRT project is still on-going but it should be completed by 2022. It will have a line in North Jakarta and a line between Kuningan and Bekasi.

Finally, Railink is an express train running between Sudirman Station in Central Jakarta and the Airport. I have used it a few times but I was quite disappointed as it is far from being "express". Indeed, to start with, you will need to go to Sudirman Station, then to wait for the train, then a 45-minute ride, then you need to take another train shuttle to reach your terminal. In the end, it takes at least 2 hours. The price used to be IDR75,000 but since COVID-19, it has been reduced to IDR30,000. 

Other Transportation Mode in Jakarta

Angkot
An angkot (or bemo or mikrolet) is a small van that picks up people on a well-defined route. It stops every time someone wants to get in or out. It's not very fast, and it can also be quite uncomfortable as the ceiling is low and there is no AC.

The good part of it is that it's really cheap, around 3,000 rupiah. I was using it on a 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 foreigners using them.

Taxis

There used to be a lot of taxi brands, but nowadays, it is mostly Blue Bird. The price currently starts at Rp6,500 and you'll pay about Rp50,000 for a 20 minutes ride.

It isn't so expensive, sometimes even cheaper than GrabCar or GoCar, but it has become harder to find them. Most likely, you will use them at the airport or at your hotel.
Becak
Man-powered rickshaw. It is quite rare and only available in some neighborhoods like Glodok.

Bajaj
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 small 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.

Price for a Tuk-Tuk: Less than 3 minutes ride, give Rp10,000. Less than 10 minutes: Give Rp20,000. More than 10 minutes: Get a taxi.

18 comments to '' How to Getting Around in Jakarta? - Transportation Guide (2021) "

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  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

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  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.

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  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!

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

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  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.

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  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.

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  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

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  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..

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  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

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  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.

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

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  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.

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  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.

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  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
    -ivy-

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  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.....

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  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.
    Big thanks to jakarta100bars.com ;)

    ReplyDelete
  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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  18. What a good blog you have here. Please update it more often. This topics is my interest.
    Public Transportation in Jakarta | Jakarta Airport Pick Up

    ReplyDelete