Thursday, September 25, 2008

Street Photography: Waiting for The Angkot

WAITING FOR THE ANGKOT IN THE RAIN

Angkot (ANGkutan PerKOTaan), or urban/city transportation, is the main mode of transportation in the city of Bandung. It is a twelve to fourteen seater mini bus with a side-door entrance like the one shown in the above photograph. Instead of facing forward like in a "normal" bus, angkot passengers seat face to face on the side of the vehicle like in most commuter trains.

Angkot is color-coded to mark which route each vehicle is serving (in Bandung the color codes used are white, purple, green, blue, yellow, orange, brown, red, and pink).

Angkot is both a convenient necessity and a headache to Bandung's day to day reality. It's convenient because it is available nearly around the clock and everywhere, from the city center to the far corners of the city, and is relatively cheap. It also does not follow a set schedule like the city buses do, nor does it need a bus stop to get on or off. You can hail, stop, and get on and off it anywhere you want along its route. This way, it can literally take you door to door. This erratic behavior, however, is also the cause of a lot of headache to the other users of the roads. It causes traffic congestion and becomes a safety threat to other road users. Comfort, safety, and punctuality are nearly always an issue with the angkot.

Bandung definitely needs a more modern, comfortable, and well-regulated mode of public transportation, but I think it will be sometime before we can get rid of this necessary nuisance.

I took the above photograph on Jalan Wastukencana, Bandung, a few days ago.

7 comments:

Rambling Woods said...

I haven't seen such a thing. I thought at first that being able to go to your door would be great, but something with a schedule and larger may be better...

nobu said...

I think it is combinient.

gadhogadho said...

Hi Eki!

Taking a ride in an angkot is definitely one of the fatest ways to travel around Bandung city. Not too comfortable but hey, as long as it gets me from one FO to another and doesnt burn a hole in my pocket, it's fine with me. Taxi? Nahh.. not half as fun.

Hilda said...

Sounds very much like our jeepney! Facing each other, the convenient routes just about everywhere, and the traffic problems they cause! They're supposed to use only the jeepney stops, but if no traffic enforcers are around, they just stop anywhere.

MAHMUD YUSSOP said...

We have in Bintlu, Sarawak (Borneo) a similar mode of transportation called "Van Sewa"( loosely translated to mean van for rent service) which are not colour coded. Colour coding will certainly dispense the need to read the routes normally written in fine print on the side of the vans here.

Laurie said...

This is a beautiful use of color! I probably would not have thought of it. It makes it seem more magical than straight monochrome or true color. Wow, I love this shot, Eki.

Jangan said...

Yep, the street photographs are definitely the best. This is another goodie and so typical of bandung - it encapsulates so many facets of life here which we take for granted.