Jakarta has just ranked as the 9th most dangerous megacity in the world, based on a poll conducted by Thomas Reuters Foundation. In the polling, Jakarta was in the bottom half (ranked #7 out of 19 countries in the poll) in terms of whether women can live in the city without facing the risk of sexual violence including rape or sexual harassment.
It is no surprise that Jakarta is ranked that low in the category, as there are many cases of sexual harassment in public transportation that have been documented. This is why people tend to be skeptical about the safety of public transportation in the city.
For women or those who need to use public transportation late at night, taxi is probably the safest mode.
Order by phone ~ especially at night.
Calling for a taxi is the safest way to travel especially at night. Shop around to see which companies provide better service.
Choose the company you trust.
When you order by phone, you choose the taxi company, and as the order is monitored by the taxi company, problems can be reported.
Note the company name.
Try to spot a taxi from a well-known and reliable taxi company. Don’t judge a taxi only by its colour. There are, for example more than 10 companies now using blue-coloured cars. Check the company name on the side of the vehicle and the crown light.
Does the driver want to go there ?
Before you get into the taxi, make sure the driver agrees to take you to your destination. Some drivers don’t like to go into congested areas, or routes notorious for traffic jams.
Note the taxi number and driver ID.
When you get into the taxi, always make a note of the taxi code number displayed on the dashboard and the doors. Check the driver’s name, ID and photograph on the dashboard.
Check the driver’s appearance.
In professional taxi companies the drivers should be well-mannered, with short hair, wearing a uniform and shoes. In this instance it is better “to judge a book by its cover”. To keep the interior of the taxis fresh and clean, some companies also enforce a non-smoking rule for their drivers and passengers.
If the driver tries to bargain, instead of using the meter, or claims his meter is broken, get out of the taxi.
Insist on using the meter.
Be especially cautious when taking a taxi from a taxi queue, for example at the airport, train stations, or bus terminals. Usually these taxis try to bargain for a rate and will refuse to go short distances. If you bargain you may end up paying 2 or 3 times the metered rate. Avoid using people who try to act as “brokers” for the taxi drivers.
Look for a Blue Bird or Silver Bird taxi at a hotel near you.
If you can’t find a taxi on the street, go to a nearby hotel. Blue Bird Group taxis are at all major hotels in Jakarta.
Blue Bird, Silver Bird 7941234, 7981001
Golden Bird Limousine 7944444
Steady Safe 3143333
Bali Taxi & Golden Bird Bali Limousine (0361) 701111
Lombok Taxi (0370) 27000
Surabaya Taxi (031) 3761234
Golden Bird Bandung Limousine (022) 6014967