Bajaj, The Jakarta Three Wheeler No Longer Ubiquitous

Bajaj The Jakarta Three Wheeler










Bajaj , what is in your mind when the word comes up? If you an Indian, then probably the first thing that pops out is a famous vehicle manufacturer in India.

It is not wrong at all but it is not 100% correct either.

If the same word is uttered in front of Jakarta citizens, then the thing appears in their mind is a rdark orang or blue three wheeler. Just like the above picture and also an image of usual reckless driving of its driver.

Yes. It is Bajaj, an old public transportation in the Capital of Indonesia.

Perhaps, you may feel it is weird because some other Bajaj’s product can be found in Jakarta and Indonesia such as a sport motorcycle, “Pulsar“. They spent quite a fortune to promote the sporty motorbike to gain some market share in Indonesia. However, the image connected to Bajaj seems to be unchanged, especially in Jakarta.

The history of Bajaj in Indonesia

The image of the three wheeler can not be eliminated immediately and replaced by the gallant and gallant Pulsar. The Bajaj, that is often called in English as auto rickshaw, has been one of the main transportation public for Jakarta citizens for more than 40 years.

It was imported from the same company in 1975, originally to replace Indonesian’s becak. But in reality both are still operative until today.

Bajaj, the three wheeler, can only be found in few cities in Indonesia. One of them Jakarta and the other two known cities utilized this vehicle as public transportation are Banjarmasin and Pekanbaru in Kalimantan.

Bajaj in Jakarta
Photo by common.wikipedia under CCAS 2.0

In Jakarta, it once dominated streets and roads. They can be met on every street and road, from the center of the city upto suburb areas. Ubiquitous. They were the king of the road.

However, the Government of Jakarta decided few years ago to limit the operation area. They can not any longer make a pass to main roads.

Two types of Bajaj in Jakarta

If you come to Jakarta today, you may find those two types crawling down Jakarta streets.

The older one was painted ark orange and the newer version s in blue.

The difference of both, besides their age is what fuel used. The orange ones utilize gasoline as its fuel and the blue ones uses gas fuel.

The blue has started to replace the orange gradually as the consciousness about pollution and quality of air in Jakarta grows rapidly. The government decided to use the younger version using less pollutant fuel.

What you may remember if you travel by Bajaj?

Well, why do Bajajs seem unforgettable by Jakarta people? Are they very fond of this vehicle? Like or not, it was and is one of public transportation they depend on. But, there are few other thing that the image of this three wheeler can’t be erased so easily.

The sound : I am not sure what decibel level the sound created by one Bajaj. Quite noisy in funny sound out from 2 steps old machine.

The recklessness of the driver : being passengers inside the three wheeler can be like on a roller coaster. An adrenaline pumping. Generally their drivers are known to like speeding and reckless.

Shaky : You will be shaken. especially, if the one you choose is the dark orange one. The vibration of an old machine comes through to the entire passenger cabin. As a result if the trip is quite far, you will still feel shaky even after you get out.

They often make a turn without giving any sign to other vehicles, contra flow riding and many others. There is an anecdote saying that “only God and the driver who knows when a Bajaj makes a turn”.

How to use Bajaj?

Bajaj on Jakarta streetsIn the same way when you travel by Ojek. You have to haggle with the driver to agree the fare. The knowledge about the distance about your destination can play important part to get cheapest fare.

You will then have to take a seat behind the driver.

Bajaj’s driver sits in front cabin and control his/her vehicle using a Vespa like handlebar.

So my friends, you can get an unforgettable experience by riding a Bajaj. Do you want to try?

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