We did it, we rode the local train and we survived! It’s not like it’s a huge challenge but when you see people riding on top of the train and lots of crowds it does seem a bit scary.
We decided to do it on a Saturday morning as to avoid the huge crowds. The train was full but not sardine-like full. Everybody was excited to see the bule family riding the train and we took advantage of that as they let Evan have a sit.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a clean train with AC. There are special carts at the front of the train that can be used exclusively by women. The seats are not bad and the ride is very smooth. We rode from the Cikini station close to our apartment to Kota, in the old city center.
Of course Evan was very excited to ride the same train he sees pass by from the windows in our apartment. Now every time we drive past the station or walk near it, he wants to go upstairs and get on the train. I’m not so sure when that will happen again.
Overall, I would definitely give it another try if I was going to Monas or again to Kota and didn’t feel like driving in traffic, however I would be sure to avoid rush hour and maybe stick to riding on the weekend early in the morning.