Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
You can drive if you want to, but it is not needed. In fact, most locals choose not to because of the major traffic jams that occur on a daily basis. Traffic jams can get pretty bad here. Many expatriates prefer to employ a driver rather than attempting to drive in the crowded streets, so you may want to look into that option. You can expect to pay anywhere between US$100 to US$200 a month for a driver, depending on their experience. If you need your driver to work until late at night and/or on Sundays, you will have to pay them overtime.
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How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
To legally drive, you must obtain an Indonesia driver’s license, a SIM (Surat Izin Mengemudi) or hold an International Driver's License. To get an Indonesia license, you do not need to take a test. All you need to do is show up at the police department and show your KITAS and home country driver's license.
You will need to bring:

  • Original passport
  • Original KITAS (Temporary Stay Permit) card
  • Valid Indonesian driver's license, foreign driver's license or international driver's license (as applicable)
  • Photocopies of the identity and valid visa pages in your passport
  • Photocopy of your KITAS card
  • Photocopy of your current driver's license

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What side of the road do people drive on?
Similar to the United Kingdom, people drive on the left-hand side of the road. If you are not familiar with this, take your time and be extra cautious.
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Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
Probably the safest and most convenient way to travel in the city is by taking a cab. Taxis can be easily found in most public areas like hotels, supermarkets, malls, office buildings, etc. or by phone order.

Similar to Jakarta, but in Surabaya, a becak can be found easily only in the front of a small neighborhood area.

The city bus only travels to some parts of Surabaya; most of the area is not covered by the bus route.
Be careful of pickpockets if you travel by bus and watch your valuable property, such as jewelry.
Bemo (mini van)
Same as the bus.

Komuter (train)
Short-route train; usually commutes people from the neighboring town (Sidoarjo, Malang) to and from
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Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Yes, but although this is possible via bus systems and trains, most expats and locals prefer to use rental cars.
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In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
Become acquainted with local roads and freeways as well as the local traffic rules. Always follow these traffic rules and always drive with the flow of traffic. For more information, contact your local consulate or embassy or contact Crown Surabaya.
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Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
You can purchase these at any public transportation station or you can pay in cash when getting on.
Most drivers do not carry a lot of change so it is wise to have the exact amount.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.