While women in Jakarta were relatively confident that the public would come to their assistance if they were being harassed, they were far less confident that authorities would respond to a formal complaint.
Jakarta is the world's fifth most dangerous city for women on public transport, according to an international survey conducted last year.
In a poll of 15 of the world's biggest capital cities plus New York, Jakarta ranked fifth for verbal harassment against women on public transport and sixth for physical harassment.
I also saw it as a symptom of the growing religious conservatism often talked about in Indonesia.
Moderate Muslims here tend to shake their heads at news of shariah-inspired bylaws in Aceh, such as a recent one in the district of North Aceh enforcing the separation of the sexes in schools and universities, or the plan to ban men and women who are not married from riding on a motorcycle together.
For the most part, the buses have their own lane to travel in, they stop only at the designated boarding platforms, and though they don't run on a schedule, there is usually a steady stream of them coming past.
Another benefit, which I'm more conflicted about acknowledging, is that the busway has a women-only section that makes my commute, and that of many other women in Jakarta, a whole lot less stressful.By the end of 2011, a women-only area at the front of the bus was introduced.Some advocates are still pushing for entirely separate buses for men and women.The women's section is labeled as reserved for women only, while there is no sign for what is by default the men's section at the back of the bus.With this policy in place, I have not experienced a single instance of harassment in a year of taking the busway on a daily basis.Women are expected to act responsibly by riding in their designated area of the bus, unless they are accompanied by a man.