TransJakarta: A Bus Rapid Transit System? Yea, right.


Written on 3/09/2009 09:51:00 AM by Jasper12.01u

8:23 AM 3/9/2009

Hehe. So I had promised to tell you about my "journey" home from Senen.

It was my first time there. So I didn't know like where to wait for the bus, or what time does the bus come, how many minutes apart is one bus from another. In short I knew nothing.

One thing I did know is that there is a Ciputat-Senen bus, the Patas AC 76, and it passed by my house.

I asked Echie whether she and Dania would wait for me until I was safely on my bus home before they themselves would go home. And they said that they weren't riding the train home so we could just wait for the bus together. They were riding the Senen-Depok bus to their rented rooms near campus.

So I was content.

And after we were all tired from picking out clothes from their piles (yes it's piled) and tossing and turning the piles of clothes like we would a salad and shouting prices that would sound so incredibly outrageous were we not in Senen, we decided to go home.

I obediently followed Dania and Echie, the masters of Pasar Senen as they had gone there many times before. We walked and crossed the streets to Atrium Senen which we only passed through by the way because the bus stop Echie and Dania were referring earlier was located in front of the Atrium.

We waited contently there.

There were a lot of people waiting for their buses there. And for a moment I was happy. But then an unhappy little thought began to meddle with my state of happiness. What if my bus doesn't pass through here?

I voiced my concern. And Echie took action by asking a nearby drinks stall. The seller confirmed my concern and said that I was waiting at the wrong place.

It was beginning to rain hard. And we were all tired. and the bus stop I was supposed to be waiting in was a little too far for my, as well as Dania and Echie's tastes. Also the fact that a girl walking alone in a place where muggers and pickpockets roam wasn't appealing either. So I weighed the chances whether I should just walk to the bus stop and wait there where I know my Patas AC 76 would pass by or just risk the chances and rode on a TransJakarta, now that a new route had been opened up to Lebak Bulus.

Echie and Dania immediately agreed to the latter idea.

"Yes! And we could both keep an eye on you while you were waiting for the bus from here!" they had said.

OK. Sounded good enough for me. And so I did.

And BOY did I make the wrong choice or what!

It took approximately a little over 4 and a half hours for me to get home! If I just took the other bus it would only take me probably 2 hours (worst case scenario) to get home!!!

And for the whole 4-and-a-half-hour journey I was standing up. In the bus and the bus stop. And I also had to transfer buses 4 TIMES!

Man. That sucked hard.

I don't even wanna go over the details again.

One thing I was grateful of was of the few friendly middle-aged man who cared for me in the bus like their own daughters, saved me from being squished alive in the bus, and giving their body parts for me to hold on to on the constantly lurching bus (damn you lady driver who I suspected just learned how to drive!)

The moral of the story is: Don't get on the TransJakarta if you wanna get home from Senen and you happen to live in Lebak Bulus or other areas in South Jakarta or in the South of Jakarta. And if you REALLY have to, don't get off at Grogol. The line at the bus stop is HELL I'm telling you. And you have to wait for more than 2 hours just for a TransJakarta to pass.

I'm shaking just now from remembering the experience.

Well I'm off to have breakfast! Ttul!

8:49 AM 3/9/2009

P.s. Go to and I'll give you a free kiss for everyone who could determine all the places I transferred buses from Senen to Lebak Bulus hehe.

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