A Quick Guide to Jakarta’s Taxis

Getting around by taxi can be a better choice than driving your own car in Jakarta’s merciless traffic. In a taxi you save energy, the stress of finding parking and, unlike on the bus, you’ll have an air-conditioned vehicle all to yourself.

With taxi companies proliferating, however, it can be difficult picking the right ride.

The most trusted and common taxi company is Bluebird, easily recognizable by its baby blue colored cars. The metered fare starts at Rp 7,000, and the drivers tend to be professional and accountable to the larger company. Express is another reliable and fair taxi company. Their cabs are white with a blue “E” painted on the door.

Unless you are familiar with the city and know the approximate price to your destination, always choose a taxi with a metered fare. There are many small companies with drivers who will try to negotiate an inflated flat fare with you when you get in the cab. Bluebird and Express drivers are required by their company to use the meter. If for some reason your driver does not want to, write down the name and employee number of your driver, which will be on an idea card prominently displayed on the dash.

With Jakarta’s convoluted road system, it can often be difficult finding a cab. Hotels, office buildings and malls usually have Bluebird or Express taxi queues. You can also reserve a taxi on Bluebird’s website (http://www.bluebirdgroup.com), which also has phone numbers for its call centers.

When communicating your destination to your driver, keep in mind that rare is the driver who can speak English. Write down the address of your destination and more importantly what area of the city it is in and what major buildings it might be close to. Since Jakarta’s streets are poorly marked, a driver may not be familiar with an address.