A Guide to Commuting in Jakarta

Traveling within Jakarta by public transportation can be challenging, especially for new commuters. However, If you know just the right tricks, commuting in Jakarta is actually quite straightforward and convenient. Not only within Jakarta, but the extensive network of public transportations also covers surrounding towns like Bekasi, Tangerang, Depok, and Bogor.

What is e-money?

First thing first, if you are using public transportation in Jakarta and beyond, make sure you have your own e-money. E-money is an electronic store of monetary value on a technical device, in this case, a card that can be widely used for making payments. There are many options for e-money: Mandiri E-Money, BRI Brizzi, BNI TapCash, and BCA Flazz. To get one of these, you can just visit your local bank and ask for one!

Convenience stores like Indomart, Alfamart, Lawson, or Family Mart typically also sell one of these e-money cards. But before being able to use it, make sure you’ve topped-up the balance. This can be done either in the public transportation station itself or, to save you time from queuing, do it through your mobile banking app, convenience stores, or ATM machines.

For those who are commuting daily, we recommend topping-up an initial deposit in your e-money card. Furthermore, we recommend you do your own research on the internet before traveling. The maps and signs in the public transportation stations can be confusing; Only a few of the signs are translated into English. 

There are plenty of public transportations throughout Jakarta; Some are widely-connected beyond the city, whilst some have only limited subdistrict range. Through this article, we are going to go deeper into Jakarta’s public transportation to make sure you know your way in and out of the city. Below are 5 different public transportations that will certainly come in handy for you to commute in Jakarta.

Jakarta MRT

MRT Jakarta

Jakarta’s MRT started operating in March 2019 This is the newest and perhaps most sophisticated public transportation in all of Indonesia so far. This public transportation was and still is highly-anticipated by commuters throughout Jakarta. Currently, Jakarta’s MRT 16 km line, called the M1 North-South Line, connects only Central and South Jakarta. This route consists of 13 stations, 7 Southern stations above ground and 6 Northern stations built underground throughout central business districts of Jakarta. 

MRT starts operating from 5 am to 10 pm every day. The time interval of each MRTs is 5 minutes in the peak hours (06.00 – 09.00 and 16.00 – 17.00) and 10 minutes outside peak hour. Furthermore, The fare varies differently depending on the distance of your trip, starting from Rp 3.000 to 14.000 per trip. You can use an MRT Single Trip Card, MRT Multi-Trip Card, or e-money. You can purchase MRT personalized cards in the stations –  but watch out for long queues, especially during peak hours.

Jakarta Airport Railink


Jakarta Airport Railink or Airport Train is another newly established public transportation connecting passengers from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Central Jakarta, and vice versa. This sophisticated transportation was and is still highly-anticipated by the people. The traffic to and from the airport can be super bad, thus making this Airport Train quite attractive to many.

It takes approximately 40 to 50 minutes to travel between the starting points (Airport and BNI City Station, Central Jakarta). Currently, there are 3 more stations that are reachable with this train: Batu Ceper, Duri and Manggarai station. For the ticket, you can buy it in the station for Rp 70.000 each trip – quite expensive, but worth the convenience.

KRL Commuter Line

KRL Jakarta

KRL Commuter Line is the commuter train system in Jakarta that connects extensively to surrounding towns like Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi. It is very affordable (Rp 3.000 – 15.000) and highly popular, with almost 1 million commuters in 2019 alone. This train system consists of 6 lines with 80 stations. You can easily access the route from google. You can use the multi-trip or daily-trip cards which you can purchase in the station, or even use your e-money card as well. In using the trains, you should watch out for peak hours as it can be heavily packed.

TransJakarta Bus


TransJakarta is a widely-spread bus transit system that has been operating in Jakarta since 2004. It is claimed to be one of the longest bus systems in the world. Currently, Transjakarta consists of 13 primary routes with 10 cross corridors spanning over 230 km in length. Traveling duration is expected to be way the fastest by bus due to TransJakarta having separate lanes than cars. However, there might be vehicles that will illegally take the bus lanes and slow down the bus operation, but stricter surveillance has been done from time to time by the police to avoid this issue.

TransJakarta Bus is also a relatively affordable public transportation with fare ranging from Rp 1.000 to 3.500. However, make sure that you have your own e-money card before hopping into the bus stop since there is no ticket counter available. 

Online Taxi Apps

Online Taxi Jakarta

Ride-sharing apps are perhaps the most trending public transportation in Jakarta. They don’t only bring you to the exact destination but most of the time, they come with discounts and promotions that make your commuting so much convenient. Currently, there are two ride-sharing companies in Jakarta; Go-Jek and Grab. These platforms are highly popular for the local and expat commuters in Jakarta. 

Both platforms offer both car and motorcycle riders, and they also offer different price ranges for each vehicle. The price depends highly on the hour and distance of your travel, but you can check it in advance from the app. Make sure you refresh the app to get the most recent pricing. If you are traveling by motorcycle, the driver by the standard procedure will offer you a helmet and hair cap for safety and comfort purposes. 

So there you go, an introductory guide to commuting in Jakarta. If you want to learn more about the modes of public transportation in Jakarta, click here. Go try them out!

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