What is the most famous thing in Jakarta?
Monas? Lots and lots of shopping center? Heat? The people?
You can say a lot, but Jakarta is actually quite famous for one thing.... TRAFFIC JAM!
That and also corruption, but let's talk about the traffic jam.
In most country, there's rush hours, usually start in the morning and in the afternoon, can go for about 1 - 2 hours.
However, in Jakarta, there's no such thing as rush hours because ALMOST every hours is rush hours.
7 - 10 is the Morning rush where everyone head to the office, school or college.
12 - 2 (sometimes 3) is the Lunch Break, where a lot of people went out of the office to the nearest shopping center to buy food and most of them are taking either taxi or private car.
Traffic jam in Jakarta demand your patience and your ability to drive.
There are motorcycles who likes to slip between cars, private cars that keeps on switching lines and also bus.
One of public transportation that I use the most is Transjakarta, who copied the mass transport system in Bogota, Colombia.
But don't compare those two together because Transjakarta aren't even near of those in Bogota...
Now, taken from Wikipedia...
"During rush hours, people from upper or middle classes (one of the main targets of TransJakarta) usually prefer to use private cars or taxis to avoid inconvenience of the overcrowded Transjakarta buses even though they have to bear with traffic jams instead. Many passengers are thus lower-middle-class people who are ex-users of other less comfortable and/or more expensive commercial buses.
This situation is at odds with one of the initial objectives of TransJakarta which was to reduce traffic jam during rush hours by persuading private car owners to use comfortable public transport."
That's right, Transjakarta's is supposed to be for the upper or middle class.
But hey, who could blame those upper / middle class that refused to use Transjakarta when you know what Transjakarta is like...
If you appreciate time and want to go some place fast, Transjakarta is not really recommended.
The only quick route is Koridor 1 Blok M - Kota, even this is still debatable.
Other route can take minutes to hours before the bus arrived.
I use Koridor 8 mostly, and it can take from 15 minutes - 1 1/2 hours to wait for the bus.
If you are lucky, the bus will arrived just when you get to the bus stop.
Even after getting the bus, doesn't mean your journey is going to be smooth.
Transjakarta has it's own lines, called Busway.
This line is supposed to be strictly only for Transjakarta, to make the bus moves faster.
However, this only applied on some cases, most of the time the line is also used by private car and motorcycle.
The ironic thing is the Police sometimes are the ones who encourage those cars and motorcycles to enter the Busway, to avoid traffic jam.
So, there goes the main point of riding Transjakarta....
You are stuck on the bus, which most of the times, full of people and no way out since you can only get on or get off at the bus stop.
If you are tired of waiting, say goodbye to your money.
Because you are NOT getting it back, no matter what.
Expecting some help from the staff? Not getting it.
Apparently they lives on the stone age and have no idea how to use cell phone.
Kinda weird... Because you can see them text-ing and calling their fellow co-worker all the time.
But when you ask about when the next bus will arrived, they answered with "I don't know".
When the bus stop is packed with people, these staff usually disappear and refused to give any information to the passenger about the reason why the bus is so late.
Even when they know the answer, they will keep it to themselves and won't tell the passenger... Unless you started asking and yelling at them.
The Transjakarta passenger mostly will deal with unknown and have to bear with the waiting...
Try using twitter? Do it and pray that they will answer...
They will usually reply with the usual word, which is "Traffic jam, so the bus stuck."
............. Right now, it's kinda hard to find a place in Jakarta which DOESN'T have traffic jam....
So IMHO, traffic jam excuse is lame. The Transjakarta have Busway right?!
........ Oh right, forget about the police who encourages the other to enter the busway...
I won't place the blame totally on the Transjakarta management itself.
The passenger is also play part at the uncomfortable ride on Transjakarta.
They sometimes spit inside the bus, eat or drink (even though it is not allowed) and spilled it everywhere, and there are some passengers who don't know (or pretend NOT to know) about the Priority Seat.
Even during waiting on the bus stop, they don't know how to queue properly.
They jab and push people around when the bus arrived, it's like a war...
Waiting for the people inside to get out? Not likely, especially after they've been waiting for a long time.
There are some passengers who prefer to put their focus on their smartphone instead of finding something to hold.
And when the bus stop suddenly, they're panicking and trying to grab something to get hold of, then cursing the driver for stopping too sudden.
Every time the bus arrived at the bus stop, most passengers will gathered at the door and refused to get in, no matter how near/far their destination are.
It takes A LOT OF patience and endurance when using Transjakarta...
Want to try more challenge? Try to head to Harmony during Rush Hours and see how fast your patience went bye bye...
I do wish for more improvement about Transjakarta, but it have to come from both side, from the management and the passengers.