Indonesia doesn’t have a famous Double Dekker but we’re very proud to introduce you The Angkot! Not a temple like Angkor Wat in Cambodia, angkot is one of popular public transportation in Indonesia. According to its abbreviation – ANGkutan KOTa – which means ‘city transportation’, usually you can find angkot in some city which doesn’t have bus as their main public transportation.
Angkot has different names in every province. It called pete-pete in Makassar, bemo in Bali, mikrolet in some places in Java, or even taksi – which means taxi – in Sumatra. Never think that angkot really looks like taxi which with meter, because in the name of public transportation, it’s really different!
Angkot is a car which looks like minivan or minibus with eye catching color such as blue, red, or green. Every angkot has their own route, to distinguish by letter or number code, or line color on the side. The route usually posted on windshield, example like ‘Malengkeri-Cendrawasih-Makassar Mall’ means that angkot will through those 3 places on their route.
In some city such as Makassar, angkot not only offer a route to around the city. Some angkot also offer cross-town or cross-city for their route. Usually they have different color, example like blue for city route and red for cross-town.
What about the interior? There’s one passenger seat (or two for bigger car) beside the driver. At back, there’re two 2 seats, 4 on the left and for 6 passengers on the right side. Some of angkot also has near the back door. But in different city such as Batam, seats of angkot are facing front. It doesn’t matter if you want to ride angkot and you ask other passengers to shift so you can sit, as we know that Indonesian people are friendly.
Angkot doesn’t have halte to stop, it can stop everywhere depends on passenger’s destination. To stop just say kiri, which means ‘left’ because in Indonesia we ride on the left side. For other way, you can knock the roof or ring the bell if they provide it in the back. This situation makes some traffic jam, moreover if angkot stop for a long time to take more passengers, which we know it as ngetem. Sometimes it takes 10 or even 30 minutes depends on how many passengers the driver wants to find.
How much to pay? One thing for sure, the fare isn’t to haggle. Usually we pay around IDR 2.000 – IDR 5.000, depends on their local regulations. In Bandung, we pay by how far you ride, IDR 2.000 of more for farer. In Malang, no matter far or near you ride angkot, the fare are still same, IDR 2.500. For cross-town or cross-district route we have to pay more.
For me, angkot still my best way to go everywhere. When many streets crowded by private cars in big cities today, I think angkot helps to reduce fuel use because they take peoples with different destinations in one way. It more helpful to save environment from global warming than private cars, even I recommend to use public transportation if you traveling somewhere, besides you can also getting closer and know more about local people.
In my personal condition who live far from my campus and also a part-time worker in the afternoon, I would rather to ride angkot because I just sit during my way so I don’t have to waste too much energy for driving. Want to know what I do to kill the time in angkot? Sleep! That’s my own best couch! Just remember for not sleep to deep or you gonna miss your stop point!