Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by viravira on 4 January 2018 • Tips
Hear ye! Hear ye! Now there is a new alternative mode of transportation to get you from Jakarta city to Soekarno Hatta International Airport and vice versa. It is the airport train! The transportation that doesn’t get affected by Jakarta’s notorious traffic jam. So, how do you get to Soekarno Hatta International Airport by train?
For now, the terminals are at the airport (SHIA) and Sudirman Baru (BNI City), with a stop at Batu Ceper. Later, I’m not sure when, the last station in the city will be at Manggarai.
At the airport, the train station is nearest to Terminal 2. So after you hop off the train, you take the skyline (kalayang) to either Terminal 1, 2 or 3 of the airport. Vice versa, if you just landed and heading to the city, take the skyline to the train station (Stasiun Kereta). The skyline is for free, like the one at Changi airport in Singapore.
Starting on January 2, 2018 it’s IDR70,000/pax from BNI City to SHIA.
If you depart from Batu Ceper station, it’s IDR35,000/pax.
Will it go up again later? Maybe. I’ll update here if that happens.
From BNI City station the train departs at:
A.M. : 3.51, 4.21, 4.51, 5.51, 6.21, 7.51, 9.51, 10.21, 10.51
P.M. : 12.51, 1.21, 1.51, 3.51, 4.21, 4.51, 6.51, 7.21, 7.51, 8.21, 9.21, 9.51
From Batu Ceper station the train departs at:
A.M. : 4.33, 5.03, 5.33, 6.33, 7.33, 8.33, 10.33, 11.03, 11.33
P.M. : 1.33, 2.03, 2.33, 4.33, 5.03, 5.33, 7.33, 8.03, 8.33, 9.03, 10.03, 10.33
From SHIA station the train departs at:
A.M. : 6.10, 7.10, 7.40, 8.10, 8.40, 9.10, 11.10, 11.40
P.M. : 12.10, 2.10, 2.40, 3.10, 5.10, 5.40, 6.10, 8.10, 8.40, 9.10, 9.40, 10.40, 11.10
The tickets can be bought at the stations or online at reservation.railink.co.id which is available in English and Indonesian.
Seats are numbered but tickets aren’t, so you’re free to choose any seat, at least for now. The number of tickets are as many as the number of seats. So if the tickets are sold out, that’s it, you cannot go on the train standing.
A few station officers stand by the ticket machine just in case passengers are confused with the system. I don’t think they serve cash at the moment, payment is done with cards from local providers such as e-money, brizzi and t-cash, and also debit cards. I recommend you to buy the ticket online especially if it’s high season or approaching weekends when flights are the busiest, just to make sure you don’t go to the the station for nothing. Online booking accepts credit cards with an extra fee IDR5,000 per booking, and also money transfer.
My first experience: Diyan and I got to the station to find that the tickets were sold out. The soonest schedule available was 3 hours later, which meant we would miss our flight. So we took a GrabCar (similar to Uber) instead. The annoying thing was that a lot of the tickets were bought by people who were just curious about the new train route, they weren’t even catching any flight. And it was a holiday season, so families flocked to the stations to try the train or just to hang out, like it was some kind of a picnic spot.
My second experience: We learned from the first experience. We booked the train tickets for our way back home a few days prior to the flight. It ended with a great success!
Update – My third experience: Holiday was over, the stations were quiet.
The seats are comfortable. The cars are air conditioned. The leg room is spacious, not that I need it for my space-efficient legs, but you can actually put your cabin bag there.
There are baggage shelves at each end of each car if you want the leg room all for your legs.
Or if your bags are not that big, you can put them at the compartment above your head.
There are sockets on each 2 chairs, each consist of 2 USB ports.
I don’t think there are toilets, but I’ll make sure about that on my next ride to SHIA, which is tomorrow.
I’m not proud to say this, but it’s something you gotta know. Getting in line is not something most Indonesians are accustomed to. We (by ‘we’ I mean most Indonesians, not me or Mumun individually) don’t feel guilty cutting in line and sometimes even feel entitled to. Why, I don’t know. It’s just how it is. If you have the heart, you could cut in line and most of them wouldn’t holler at you, but they might just push you and take their spot back, which was probably yours or others’ in the first place.
So either you tell people not to cut in line, or take a long deep breath and stay patient. Staying as close as you can to the person in front of you might help as long as they don’t think you’re a pervert, but line cutting could happen in way in front of you anyway.
A taxi ride with a similar distance from around BNI City would cost roughly IDR150,000 plus toll fee, in a moderate traffic.
An Uber or GrabCar or GoCar ride would cost slightly cheaper, about IDR120,000 plus toll fee in regular hours (not rush hour, not too early in the morning or too late at night).
A DAMRI bus ride would cost IDR40,000 (including any toll fee) plus any fare of transportation that gets you to the DAMRI pools.
If you take train, don’t forget to factor in the expense for getting you to the station. And price is per pax. So more people, more you have to pay. Unlike a taxi.
The train ride from BNI City to SHIA takes 57 minutes.
Taking the skyline to the airport terminal takes about 30 minutes including the waiting time.
So in total it takes about 87 minutes or 1 hour and 27 minutes.
While the other transportations the duration depends greatly on how bad the traffic is. But if you’re leaving from BNI City by car, it would take about 1-1,5 hours to SHIA in light to moderate traffic.
From Batu Ceper, it takes only 15 minutes to SHIA train station.
There is no fixed answer to this. You need to calculate the fares and the traffic to know if it’s wise to take train to SHIA, aside to the number of people traveling.
If you travel with at least one more person, you could share the taxi or Uber fare, which might mean cheaper than taking the train or DAMRI bus.
If you’re heading to the airport on a Friday night, I recommend you take the train and secure the ticket a few days in advance because traffic is usually kraaayyyzee and a lot of people are flying for weekend getaways. If you take the train, at least you could predict what time you’ll arrive at the airport.