Taxis in Indonesia almost the same shape as in Americas or Europe, with a sedan-type car with two rows of seats, and complete with indicator lights above empty or occupied cab body. Taxis can be catched easily near airports, stations, or bus terminal in the big cities in Indonesia. But, in rural or small cities, it is quite difficult to find that. Taxis in Indonesia is quite cheap if you compare it with taxi in other countries, but the standard service is very good and the cabin is cool and comfortable. Please consider the Feel-Indonesia guide to riding a taxi in Indonesia.
Taxis is the easiest way to travel inside the city if you bring large baggage or together with families. If you just want to travel around, you can use ojek (motorcycle taxi) that more popular and cheaper in Indonesia.
Taxis usually be a last choice when you can’t get a bus or other public transportation early in the morning or after midnight. In small towns or areas far from the city center, where public transportation such as buses and cars are limited, a taxi could be an alternative solution. In addition, taxis are an best solution if it goes together with a group of 3-4 people or shared with a parent/child at the expense almost equivalent to ride public transportation.
1. Overview of taxi in Indonesia
Taxis in Indonesia are divided into three types based on vehicle size. Medium-sized cab (carry 5-6 passengers) and the small one (maximum carrying 4 passengers). But, we can only found the medium-sized cab in Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and Bali.
The most popular taxi operator in Indonesia was Blue Bird Taxi. They are operating in major cities in Indonesia. Besides that, there was also local taxi operator that can be found in every city. I can say that Blue Bird Taxi is the best cab in the Indonesia viewed from the side of trust. We will never find a taxi driver who deliberately takes advantage of passengers. Make sure you choose the licensed taxi with the green plate.
In some of Indonesia Airport, we can often found an unofficial taxi (taxi without any operator name and has a black-plate number). Unofficial here is the ordinary people who offer transport services without a license and fare-meter. It is better for you to avoid it.
Travel Tips in Indonesia: Transportation
Silver Bird the premium taxi in Indonesia
2. How to use a taxi in Indonesia
Taxis can easily be found near exit gate of the airport or stations. You can also catch a taxi on the street, but please make sure to wait for the taxi in the safe area or near the bus stop.
To find out where the cab is empty and which contain, we can see the information in the front window. If the writing is “VACANT” it means empty. Meanwhile, if the writings is “RESERVED” it means “occupied” or are carrying passengers.
When the cab stopped, you need to open the door by yourself. Likewise, after arriving at your destination and paying the fare, you need to close the door also.
In case your baggage is left or something bad happens, the taxis can always be chased as long as you remember the taxi identification number. So, first time you enter the taxi, please note the driver’s name and taxi identification number. You can get that information in the left front dashboard or in the sticker in the door.
3. How much is the taxi fare in Indonesia?
First, this is the example of Blue Bird Taxi operator fare. The other operators usually have the cheaper fare. For the first two kilometers (after door-open) is 7.000 rupiahs, then 3.600 rupiahs for every kilometer, and 42.000 rupiahs for every hour of waiting. To travel as far as 10 kilometers the fare usually around 36.000 rupiahs or just around 3 dollars. Can you see how cheap taxi fare here? One more thing, please bring enough cash as expected because the majority of the taxi cab fare in Indonesia only accept payment in cash.
However, we can always found the non-fare-meter taxi. If it is possible, try to avoid them since the driver usually set the higher taxi meter than the usual. But, if you don’t have any options, please make you have a deal with the fare before you go. You can negotiate the fare, then bargain the fare 2/3 as the said.
4. How do you tell the address or point of interest to the drivers?
One of the most fundamental problems travelling in Indonesia is very few people who understand English, including taxi drivers. The majority of taxi drivers can’t speak English and it would complicate the communication. Our suggestions is that you’d better print out the map or write your destination on a piece of paper, for example, Kuta Beach, Legian, Ragunan, or Gili Trawangan. Popular destinations in each city usually known by all of the taxi drivers.
Talking to the taxi driver
5. Giving a tip to taxi drivers
In Indonesia, you always need to give tip to the taxi drivers. If not, the driver usually is angry and saying something bad in Bahasa Indonesia. You can give tip by paying more than the fare-meter say. For example, fare-meter show 36.000 rupiahs, you can give the driver 40.000 rupiahs, and he will be very happy. The good things, he will give you travel tips on buying souvenirs or best spots to view the landscape (for example Kuta beach).
6. Taxi Reservation
How to reserve Taxis in Indonesia:
- Phone Bluebird taxis in your city, please see the numbers below.
- Provide your location, your name, and contact phone number. Then you can wait near the exit gate or main entrance.
- The taxi will arrive at your location about 20 minutes before the departure time (in most of the common case).
- You can enjoy the journey to your destination.
Bluebird Taxi Jakarta
BLUE BIRD & PUSAKA : (021) 7917 1234 / 794 1234
Bluebird Taxi Bandung
BLUE BIRD : (022) 756 1234
Bluebird Taxi Banten
PUSAKA BANTEN TAKSI : (0254) 393 123
Bluebird Taxi Lombok
LOMBOK TAKSI : (0370) 627 000
Bluebird Taxi Semarang
BLUE BIRD : (024) 670 1234
Bluebird Taxi Bali
BALI TAXI : (0361) 701 111
Customer Care Center : (0361) 701 621
Bluebird Taxi Manado
BLUE BIRD : (0431) 86 1234
Bluebird Taxi Medan
BLUE BIRD : (061) 846 1234
Bluebird Taxi Palembang
BLUE BIRD : (0711) 361111
Bluebird Taxi Pekanbaru
BLUE BIRD : (0761) 56 1234
Bluebird Taxi Surabaya
BLUE BIRD & PUSAKA : (031) 372 1234