Jakarta city has many tourist attractions you could visit. There are museums, cultural events, a planetarium, a beach, a fair ground, places to eat, etc.
The question is how to get around the city?
The relatively fastest, cheapest, comfortable and safer transportation alternative is Transjakarta Bus.
It’s fast because the bus runs on special lanes called the Busway, where officially only Transjakarta are allowed to pass. Although, sometimes cars or motorcyles also enter the lanes when traffic jams occur, especially during the rush hours.
The ticket is very cheap, it costs you only Rp. 3500,-. No additional charge when you transit from one bus to another as long you don’t exit the halte (bus stop). You can save money even more if you take a bus between 05.00AM – 07.00AM, it costs only Rp. 2,500.
Currently the local government subsidized the Transjakarta Ticket to encourage their citizens to move from private vehicles to public mass transportation.
The buses are relative comfortable. They have been equipped with air condition to keep the temperature cool. A special section for women is also available at the front section.
The buses are much safer compared to the buses run by the private companies, because the drivers don’t have to pursue an income target for their boss which often lead to a reckless driving behavior.
The Trasnjakarta Map
Now, to be able to go from one place to another with Transjakarta, the first thing you need to understand is how to read the map.
For the most up to date map, please visit the official site here.
When talking about destinations or bus routes, you will often hear the word Koridor.
Koridor 1, Koridor 2, etc.
They are just the names indicating the bus routes.
Koridor 1, Blok M – Kota. This means the bus starts from the Blok M bus stop and will finish at the Kota bus stop.
On the map, each koridor is presented by a colorful line. At the end of each line, there’s a number in a colored circle indicating the corridor number.
Have you noticed that there are thick and thin lines of koridors as shown below?
The bus stop / halte
A bus will stop at many bus stops or haltes. Haltes are indicated by numbers in a box and a white line as shown below. You can see also its name next to it.
The white line may couple a few lines. This means at this halte, there are several buses from different Koridors will stop here.
From all the haltes existed, you’ll see the biggest amongst all. It’s the Harmoni Central. Here is where people usually switch Koridors.
On the halte you’ll see doors. Each door is for different koridor. Above the door there’s usually a board on top of each door showing you which koridor this door lead to.
You position is indicated by the yellow line. Where the bus will go, is indicated by the thick line.
Some important notes:
- Sometimes the board is missing.
- Sometimes the board is misleading, this is due to some changes of the bus routes, and the boards haven’t been updated. You might need to look for stickers sticked on the wall near the door.
- Sometimes the door is also to seperate men from women lines.
How to enter the bus
To enter the bus you need to step in carefully. There’s a gap between the bus and the bus stop. Its size depends on the driver’s skill.
How to pay for the ticket
You need to buy a card at the counter. There are several cards you could choose.
I use Bank Central Asia/BCA, so I bought the Flazz Card. Other cards issued by different banks have a different name.
The card costs Rp.40,000 for Rp.20,000 worth of deposit. You can top the card up at the Transjakarta counter too.
Not far from the counter you’ll see the entrance and exit gate(s). Place the card at the position pointed by the red arrow, below the small blue LCD. From that screen you can see when the balance has been cut and you can walk through the rolling door.
Here’s how the back section looks like.
The local government uses many brand for the buses, such as Scania, Hino, Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, Zhongtong, and some other buses from old private bus companies modified and integrated to the Bus Rapid Transit System. So you may find the quality of the buses vary.
If you have a question about directions, You could ask the officer standing near the door.
When a bus arrives at a bus stop/ halte, the officer usually steps outside and yells out the direction of the bus.
On a good quality bus, there’s a moving LED showing the bus Koridor and the next stop. You will also hear an announcement of the next stop and when the bus arrives at a halte.
Ok, that’s how you ride a Trasnjakarta Bus in Jakarta, Indonesia. Happy travelling.