Last week I had an early morning meeting in Central Jakarta. Knowing that it was going to be one hell of a drive getting there from my house, I decided to leave my car at home and took public transportation instead. Here’s how it went 🙂
Leg 1: GOJEK – Home to Jurang Mangu Train Station
Ever since this first leg, I realised that it was a good decision to leave my car at home. My house is actually not that far from the train station, but I forget how ugly traffic can be on a working day morning. Even with Gojek, it took me 20 minutes to get to the train station. Can’t imagine if I took my car instead! Now I understand when a lot of Jakartans say that Gojek is a life saver.
Leg 2: Commuter Line – Jurang Mangu to Sawah Besar Train Station
The last time I took commuter line (train, for those of you who are not familiar with Jakarta’s public transportation) was back in 2014. That time taking commuter line was a real challenge. There were not that many trains, only 1 every 20 minutes or so. They often got late which made it worse, so you can imagine how crowded the train was when they finally arrived. It was like hunger games!
But it’s different now. The train schedule is more frequent so I did not have to wait long to get inside one. Although it was still crowded (mind you, it was during rush hour on a Wednesday), I could get a decent personal space and take pictures during my ride! Hahaha tourist much?
One thing to note is that it’s actually quite a hassle to navigate between stations, so if you have time constraints this might not be the best option. Take my case for example. First I took Maja-Tanah Abang line from Jurang Mangu to Tanah Abang. Then I changed to Depok – Jatinegara line from Tanah Abang to Manggarai. Finally, I took Depok – Jakarta Kota line from Manggarai to Sawah Besar. Phew! Glad I spared enough time so I still could get to my destination on time.
Leg 3: On Foot – Sawah Besar Train Station to Jalan Pecenongan
After I arrived, I opened Google Maps to see how far I was to the hotel where my meeting was held. Turned out I was not far at all, so I decided to walk. Walking in that area was quite challenging because there were no decent sidewalks and no clear signs/directions.
There were times I got confused on where to cross the road because there was no zebra cross in sight. Lucky me the traffic was not as bad so I managed to cross the road and eventually reached my destination safely!
Leg 4: Commuter Line – Sawah Besar Train Station to Jakarta Kota Train Station
After my meeting was finished, I walked back to Sawah Besar Train Station. From there, I took another commuter line ride to Jakarta Kota Train Station. The ride was more comfortable this time because it was not rush hour anymore so there were fewer people.
With a tourist mindset, I decided to enjoy my journey and stopped every once in a while to take pictures and people watched.
Leg 5: Busway – Jakarta Kota Busway Station to Blok M Busway Station
I had another meeting at Melawai area after lunch time so I decided to take the Busway / TransJakarta to get there. It was a straight ride, and took me about 45 minutes to get to the final destination… I think this was my most comfortable leg because yours truly here slept almost all the way! Hahahaha. It was a good nap though.
Leg 6: Gojek – Blok M to Cilandak Town Square
After I finished my second meeting, it’s time to go home. I had to stop by at a supermarket to buy some groceries so I decided to stop by at Cilandak Town Square. Again Gojek proved to be a lifesaver, it took me only 15 minutes from Blok M to Cilandak Town Square at around 5PM!
Leg 7: Taxi – Cilandak Town Square to Home
I was feeling a bit tired (which was normal.. right?) so I decided to go home more comfortably by using Taxi. I normally take Uber/Go-car if I didn’t bring my car but this time I opt for good ol’ Taxi instead. Lucky I got a nice driver and he let me enjoy the ride by not talking too much hahahaha…
And that’s it! I reached home at around 7 PM which meant that I spent around 13 hours mostly on the road. I felt sooo tired afterwards but also somewhat happy because I got to see and experience how Jakarta’s public transportation has improved over the years. I’m excited to see even more improvements when our MRT line is open! I have to admit though, I don’t think I can manage to do this every day so salute to all commuters out there 🙂