Photo essay: Getting around by public transport in Indonesia’s sprawling, congested Bandung

Getting around Bandung

Most people in Bandung use private vehicles to get around (62% on motorcycles and 15% in cars), and only one in five journeys are taken by public transport. Most of these are on angkot minibuses, which are privately operated. Just 3% of journeys are taken by bus. Other transport modes include older Damri buses, newer Trans Metro Bandung (TMB) and Trans Metro Pasundan (TMP) buses, the local train, and other informal minibuses. Since 2015, ride-hailing has become popular too.

Trans Metro Bandung (TMB) bus drives through a market in Bandung, Indonesia
Trans Metro Bandung (TMB) bus drives through a market in Bandung, Indonesia
Public transport in Bandung, Indonesia
Public transport in Bandung, Indonesia
congested market in Bandung, Indonesia
Motorcycles, angkots, and people in a congested street in Bandung, Indonesia

What modes of transport are available?

Angkots are cheap, convenient, and run frequently. They cost max. IDR 10,000 (GBP 0.56, USD 0.66) for passengers travelling to the end of the route, although there are no official fares. They offer comfort, particularly if it’s raining or for students without access to their own vehicles. For people travelling with their children, they are a more convenient and comfortable choice: parents aren’t separated from their children when travelling as with motorcycle taxis.

Passenger pays for his trip after using an angkot
women sit in an angkot in Bandung, Indonesia
Women sit in an angkot waiting for other passengers to board
Passengers travelling inside a Trans Metro bus
Man entertains passengers travelling by bus
Passengers board at a Damri bus stop
Passengers board a train in Bandung, Indonesia

How do passengers in Bandung choose how to travel?

Most passengers in Bandung use just one kind of public transport to get from A to B. This means if you’re using an angkot, you might change to get on another angkot along the way. In Jakarta, travel is different — it’s far more common to take different types of transport, and ride-hailing can be used as a complement. Walking isn’t particularly popular, with most people preferring transport to walking, despite the cool air. People are willing to walk up to 200 metres — around a ten-minute walk.

About our research methodology

The Research team at WhereIsMyTransport spans four continents and has conducted research into public transport and the mobility experience across the Majority World. The team practices a mix of anthropological and user-centric research methodologies to explore the ground truth, understand product-market fit, and drive human and data-led decision making. These activities allow us to deeply understand the complexities and nuances of public transport networks from the perspective of the people who rely on them on a daily basis. They inform the data points that are most relevant and valuable to produce, and provide the context and foundation of our data offering.

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WhereIsMyTransport

WhereIsMyTransport

Stories about data, mobility, and the Majority World.