Jakarta’s tram system was popular when Jakarta was still called Batavia, in the mid 1800s to the 1900s. In 1869, the transportation was initially drawn by horses and limited to carry only 40 people.

Aligned with technological development, the horse-drawn tram was replaced by steam tram locomotives in around 1881. Hence, these locomotives can serve a longer route.

At that time, the steam tram passed a route from Pasar Ikan in North Jakarta to Jatinegara in East Jakarta. The route included Pasar Baru, Gunung Sahari, Kramat, Salemba – all in Central Jakarta and Matraman in East Jakarta.

In the 1950s, there were around 5 lins (taken from the Dutch language lijn which means track) in Jakarta. These tracks included Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta, Jalan Cut Mutia, Jalan Tanah Abang Raya (now Jalan Abdul Muis), Harmoni  (all in Central Jakarta), and Pasar Ikan in North Jakarta.

The operation of steam tram was stopped in 1959 due to unclear reason. Allegedly, the then-government lacked of funding to operate and maintain the transportation.