Becak in Jakarta

Becak were banned within the Jakarta city limits in 1994 due to their propensity to cause traffic jams. Former President Soeharto (and others) also wanted to eradicate becak from the city streets because they felt the work to be degrading to the drivers. Becak are widely missed by people who live in housing complexes off the main roads and small roads which are not serviced by bus routes - as their sheer numbers in the city prior to the crackdown attests to how widely they were used.

It used to be a common site in Jakarta to see becak drivers taking children to school each morning, and women home from the pasar (traditional market).

However, you can still find a few becak drivers ignoring the ban in certain locations within the city limits - like behind the luxurious Plaza Indonesia. Outside city limits becak are still found at the junctions of main roads and smaller country lanes that don't have smaller bus routes. Models of becak are different in each city they are found in across Indonesia.

Becak fit two passengers comfortably and possibly even more, depending on the size of the passenger. There is some protection from the sun ... and a plastic sheet that comes down over the front helps protect passengers during rainstorms. Bargain before you get in ... ! And don't expect the driver to have change for large bills.