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BajajBright orange and noisy ... easily describes a bajaj. These traditional transportation vehicles became popular in India where they were developed with Vespa and later imported to and built in Indonesia . Similar vehicles are known as rickshaw in Africa, Tuk-Tuk in Thailand and MotoTaxi in Peru . With an estimated 20,000 bajaj in Jakarta , it is evident they are very popular here too!

Bajaj seat two passengers comfortably and up to five passengers - depending on the size of the passenger of course. Their areas of operation are limited to one mayoralty in the city. On the side of the driver's doors you'll see a big circle in which the area is designated ... West Jakarta Barat, Central Jakarta, etc., with a different color for each mayoralty. The drivers are not allowed to go out of their area and aren't allowed onto many main roads, so routes may be a bit circuitous.

BajajFare determination is by bargaining. It's always best to ask an Indonesian what they would pay for a trip to a particular destination from your point of departure, and then bargain and pay accordingly.

A ride in a bajaj is hot, utilizing AC alam - or nature's air conditioning. The ride will also be noisy, smelly (car and bus fumes), bumpy, harrowing, and a grand adventure. My favorite maneuver is when the bajajdriver decides to flip a u-turn in the middle of the road. There is some protection from the rain, unless it's blowing hard. You'd think you'd have to be careful about robbery since the vehicle is so open - but it's not as common as robberies in buses. Having said all that ... bajaj are extremely convenient in many areas of Jakarta for a short drive.

In April 2001 the government announced that they are going to replace bajaj with kancil, a new 4-wheel transportation. It will be interesting to see if they are any improvement!




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