Jakarta Taxi Safety

Jakarta Taxi
Gamya Taxi - Jakarta
Jakarta Traffic
Traffic (Macet)

Jakarta taxis are the best, least frustrating option for visitors to get around Jakarta. Keep in mind – it’s hot, the traffic is often heavy, and it’s likely to take a while to get anywhere. Why not relax in a nice, cool air conditioned car?

Jakarta taxis are generally safe, but as in any large city, caution needs to be exercised. I have lived in Jakarta for three years and have never had a serious problem with a taxi driver that threatened my safety.

Jakarta has too many taxi companies to mention – there are thousands of taxis on the streets of Jakarta. Most of them are quite good, but there are the cowboys out there who you’ll want to avoid. The time of day makes a big difference as well. After around 9:00 p.m. someone seems to open a gate somewhere and turns the cowboys loose, so expect more problems at night.

Personally, I have never had a problem with a Jakarta taxi during the day. All the problems I have had have been at night – the driver refusing to use the meter is the main issue. The driver taking the long way around happens on occasion, and drivers get lost sometimes, but all in all, taking taxis in Jakarta is relatively hassle free if one stays alert, and vigilant.

Jakarta’s reputable taxi companies don’t tolerate dodgy drivers. Many of the companies operate on a point system in which drivers get points if a customer complains. After they accumulate a certain number of points, they are fired.

The better Taxi companies have all have fairly new cars, so an old beat up taxi usually means the driver can’t get a job with one of the good taxi services. That’s not always true – some drivers own their car and lease it to a company, and it’s the best they can afford. But, if you’re new to Jakarta, don’t know your way around, and don’t speak the language, stick to taxi services that operate new cars.

The driver’s appearance is also a good indication. Most reliable companies require their drivers to wear a uniform, or at the very least, wear clean clothes, and be well groomed.

What does the car smell like? Some drivers live in their cars; an obvious fact from the smell of dirty socks. Or, the car can smell of gasoline, which means poor mechanical condition – not worth the risk.

Should I get in This Taxi?

There are several things you can do at the beginning of a taxi trip to make yourself safer.

  • Assess the condition of the car, and the driver.
  • Before you get in, make sure the handle to open the door from the inside has not been removed.
  • Note any strange smells as you get in.
  • As you get in, check for the taxi’s number, and the phone number of the taxi company. It is usually on the door window. If you have a problem, you will be able to call the company, and they can speak to the driver.
  • Ask the driver to lock the doors (silahkan mengunci pintu).
  • Write down where you want to go and let the driver read the address – incorrect pronunciation causes many problems and misunderstandings.
  • Sit in the back seat on the side opposite the driver so you can watch him or her.
  • Insist the driver use the meter (argo).
  • Write down the taxi’s number, or snap a picture of the number with your phone. You never know when you’ll leave something valuable in the taxi.
  • Make sure the meter from the last passenger has been reset. If the light on the roof is on, then the meter is not running, but during the day you can’t see whether the light on the roof is on, or off. I have gotten into a taxi, and a few minutes later noticed the fare on the meter was way too high for the distance I had traveled. At that point there’s not much one can do.

Jakarta Taxi Rates

  • The standard Jakarta meter rate is Rp 6000 initially, and Rp 3,000/km after the first two km.
  • The discount Jakarta meter rate is Rp. 5000 initially, and Rp. 2,500/km after the first two km. Taxi companies that operate at this rate have TARIF BAWAH (low tariff) written in the top left corner of the windshield.
  • The passenger is expected to pay any tolls, or parking fees.

Note: Be sure to carry lots of small bills – all taxi drivers have difficulty making change.

The Best Jakarta Taxi Companies

Blue Bird Taxi Jakarta
Blue Bird Taxi
Blue Bird and Pusaka, collectively called Blue Bird Group, have the best reputation in the city. Their cars are light blue, with a black sun visor on the top of the windshield that says, “Blue Bird Group.” Many second rate outfits run taxis that look like Blue Bird, but they don’t have the black sun visor – beware of these.

All the attention Blue Bird gets leaves one to think they are the only option, or get lulled into a false sense of security. They are an excellent company and highly recommended, but they’re not perfect, as the Jakarta Post article, “‘Joe le taxi’: Inside the Blue Bird Group," reveals. It's always pays to keep alert, even in a Blue Bird.

Silver Bird is an executive taxi service operated by Blue Bird Group. They have black luxury cars – their meter rates are about 30% higher than their Blue Bird counterparts.

Gamya Taxi Jakarta
Gamya Taxi
Gamya was part of Blue Bird Group at one time, and remains every bit as good as Blue Bird. They operate a fleet of new, green cars.
021 – 8779 5555/840 3838

Express Taxi Jakarta
Express Taxi
Express is also very good – their cars are white, with a distinctive yellow light on top. They pride themselves in efficient, low cost Tarif Bawah transportation – something I feel they do quite well. 021-781-7771

Tiara Express is a new executive taxi service operated by Express. They have a fleet of luxurious, silver Toyota Aphards that use Eco friendly Autogas (LPG). The Jakarta Post article, “Premium taxi new ride downtown,” gives more information about their service. Note: The call center number in the article is incorrect – the right number is: 021-3001 0600

Putra Taxi Jakarta
Putra Taxi
Putra Group operates a nice fleet of taxis, and gives good service – they are dark blue or black.
(021) 7917 1234/794 1234

Transcab Jakarta
Transcab’s taxis are bright orange – they feature TV’s in every car. It’s a new company and is rapidly gaining a good reputation. 021-5835 5500

Taxiku Jakarta
Taxiku’s cars are yellow with a white light on top that says “TAKSI.” They pay the toll for trips to the airport. (021) 4786 2121

How to get a Taxi in Jakarta

From the airport – many companies have taxi stands at the airport, and there are many shady operators who will assure you they are the same as Blue Bird. Don’t buy it – it’s best to stick with reputable companies.

From Gambir Train Station – When you leave the train platform, turn right to go to the metered taxis. There will be all sorts of touts at the door, but ignore them; turn left and use one if the metered taxis such as Blue Bird, or Putra, who have a concession. If there is a busy street in front of you when you leave the train station, you’ve exited on the wrong side to get a metered taxi.

From malls and hotels – most major malls and hotels have an agreement with a taxi company to operate a concession on their property.

Calling for pickup – all good companies have call centers that a taxi can be ordered from. There is a Rp. 25,000 minimum fare charged for this service.

Hailing on the street is the most common method. Just stand on the sidewalk and plenty of taxis will slow and beep their horn – be selective – be alert – be cautious.


  1. Pingback: Jakarta taxi « The biggest Taxi Database
  2. Abdul Mukti

    I am a TransCab Taxi driver, you can call me at HP. 088-1164-1157 if you need a taxi, thank you

  3. Sanjeev Kumar

    I have left my Blackberry cell phone in Putra group Taxi travelling from Sarina (Jakarta) to Aryaduta Suite (near Semanggi Plaza) on 15th Sept, 12:10 (Approx) and reaching Aryaduta Suite Tower A lobby at 12:30. I have have checked with Security of Aryaduta Suite which proves that I am coming out with Putra group taxi.
    No one take the responsibility of my cell phone.
    Please help me to find out my Cell phone.

  4. Maline Flores

    Are SUV taxis that will seat 6 adults and 1 child readily available in Jakarta city proper? Are their rates higher than the standard sedan that will seat maximum 4 adults?

    What kind of vehicle will I need for our group coming in at the Jakarta International airport going to a hotel in Senayan? How much will that cost, including toll fees?

    Thank you for the information.
    Maline Flores

  5. Kunal

    I just got ripped; interesting how!
    So this was a metallic blue taxi ; one which has that minimum fare sticker and the meter starts from rp 5000 and not 6000
    I always take express or bluebird but it was 4 30 AM and i was outside red square club and there were very few cabs coming by so I took a chance and go ripped!

    First ; his meter was super fast; the same journey had cost me rp 50k exactly with bluebird when I came to this club from my hotel in pasar baru and yes I did come after midnight so even then the night charges if any must have been applicable; so what had cost me 50k with the bluebird meter totalled to 75 k on this guys meter; exactly 1.5 times; that was the first rip….and then came the super rip;

    in front of my hotel; I got out of the back seat of the cab as one sometimes likes to stand up outside and reach inside his tight jean pockets to get the cash; so I got out …opened the front aisle door to give him the cash; took out a 50k note first and kept it on the seat for him and started fishing for another 25 k in my pockets(looking for change).
    Found the 25 k and also kept it on the seat as he watched; but what was this! the guy began waving his hands frantically to indicate that i owed more money…I noticed that the 50k note was gone and there was a 2k note on the seat instead but I was so damn sure I did not make that mistake. I had kept 50k there and stood upright again to reach for another 25 k in my pockets; in that jiffy; maybe 5 seconds the rascal replaced the 50k note with a 2k note and started frantically overeacting when I said that I had kept 50k…indicating that I had kept a 2k note and not a 50k; obviously the way he overeacted for a second; I lost my bearings and I ended up giving him another 50k only to realize within a minute what had happened. I was so sure that I had not made a mistake but the way he reacted just took me off guard and before I could apply my brains I just took another 50 and threw it there…and he took off!…so 50k ride cost me 125k
    I don remember what was the taxi company but like I said; metallic blue with the 5000 rp startin meter….I would love to recall which one it was and post again here….will do

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