When I think of Jakarta, the first thing that comes to mind is: packed streets filled with busy bees, a city of hustlers and everything-fast-paced. Jakarta at its best.
For someone who was born and raised in Medan, being in Jakarta felt like a complete change of environment. To put into comparison, Medan—the hometown of Loulourose—is much slower and calmer. Nevertheless, every once in a while I love to enjoy my time in Jakarta, for the sake of the ‘big city’ vibe with tall buildings along the famous Jalan Sudirman in Jakarta Selatan.
On this 7-day trip of mine, I was on a quest to try out Bus Transjakarta, simply because I’ve never tried any public transportation for all the times I was there, and because taking online taxis costs a fortune from Golf Island to Grand Indonesia (hahaha!)
Without further ado, let me take you on a 2-hour journey (you’ll see why) by taking Bus Transjakarta (TJ)!
1. Before the ride
Make sure to have your Flazz (BCA) / e-money (Mandiri) / TapCash (BNI) card ready before taking the TJ. You can get them at your local Indomaret / bro Alfamart, whichever is nearest to you, or check out cute Mandiri e-money / BCA Flazz cards from a local creator that we absolutely LOVE. One TJ ride only costs Rp 3,500 per person. If you change buses, you will have to tap your card once again, meaning another Rp 3,500 will be charged.
One e-money card can be used twice per route. So, if you’re traveling with a friend, you’ll only need to carry one card! But I do recommend every TJ user to have one each, just in case. Have your Google Maps ready to ease your trip as all TJ buses & routes are integrated there.
With your Google Maps ready, pay close attention to where you need to stop & change buses. In my case, the first bus starts at Golf Island PIK and ends at Kota.
The bus ride to Kota took one hour plus. It was truly beyond my expectations because, to the best of my knowledge, Jakarta is currently doing heavy renovations around the city center (Kota). This explains a lot doesn’t it? 🥲
Long story short, the first bus route ended at Kota. And so I had to get off and wait for another bus on the Kota - Senayan route. Oh, and another heads up, it doesn’t matter where the end route is. As long as your destination is listed on the stops, go for it. That’s why it’s important to have your Google Maps ready at all times. Miss this one bus? Get on another one, lol.
3. Upon arrival
After getting off the bus at Tosari ICBC station, you will need to tap out your card one more time and then you’re all good! Going to Grand Indonesia from the bus station will take you a short 3-minute walk.
So, any tips to ride Bus Transjakarta back to PIK? I sure do! If possible, leave earlier (before the sun sets) because the amount of buses will significantly decrease overnight, though they will operate until 22.00 local time (this was a great advice from my local friend, excuse us if we get it wrong :D).
What was your first impression of Bus Transjakarta? Let us know down in the comments, we’d love to hear from you. If you’d like to see more of these in the future, subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to read fresh-out-of-the-oven stories, brought to you by Minlou.