The Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, has met with key stakeholders from the arts and cultural capital of Ubud.
The Acting Governor held a meeting in Denpasar with political leaders from Ubud, as well as legislators and tourism industry experts, to discuss how to overcome the town’s mounting traffic issues.
Speaking from the DPRD Building in Denpasar, Acting Governor Jaya told the meeting, “Ubud needs to be further organized so that tourists who come feel more comfortable.”
He added that the severe traffic jams that regularly mount up in and around Ubud are a serious cause for concern for tourists, tourism businesses, and local people.
Throughout the year so far, there have been a series of interventions designed to help increase traffic flow and decrease congestion.
This has included clamping down on illegal parking in the town center, opening up more parking spaces in and around the most popular attractions, increasing traffic officers on duty, and just two weeks ago, the launch of a dedicated shuttle bus service.
@sofiaelt !!! Being a passenger princess in this traffic is not so bad since there is a lot to see 😌 #scootersbali #ubudbali #ubudmarket #bali ♬ Funny Song – Funny Song Studio & Sounds Reel
Acting Governor Jaya acknowledged that these interventions had not had a sufficient impact on Ubud’s traffic problems.
He stated that more strategic land must be acquired to be used as parking zones so that traffic jams do not continue to grow and that the narrow roads of the town center are safer for walking.
Acting Governor Jaya has tasked his team with investigating whether there are any existing pockets of government-owned land around Ubud that can be utilized in the problem-solving effort.
Jaya reminded the meeting that he decided that his first official visit as Acting Governor would be to Ubud because he wanted to see firsthand how tourism is managed in the area.
@aleixjaen Traffic nights in Ubud⚠️🇮🇩🌚 #bali #traffic #ubud #tourism #fyp ♬ Riders – onimanxd
In his eyes, Ubud is the heart of Bali’s tourism offering and is of even more significance than resorts like Canggu, Kuta, and Uluwatu, largely due to its historical and cultural significance to Balinese people.
A representative for Ubud, Gede Kusuma Purta, told the Acting Governor that he homes that the Acting Governor will communicate with the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that sufficient funding is assigned to the provincial governed to tackle the island’s traffic issues in 2024.
@xxabcdits Naik mobil di ubud cuma bertahan sejam sisanya sewa motor wkwk #bali #ubud #ubudtraffic #balitraffic #ubudbali ♬ original sound – Andrei King
It seems that Ubud and other tourist destinations across the island will have to take a multi-layered approach to tackling tourist traffic.
The new free shuttle service in Uubd, launched in late September as a partnership between the Provincial Government and the Toyota Mobility Fund, had been reviewed with high hopes from many.
But just under two weeks into the 6-month trial, there have already been complaints from local taxi drivers who feel the free shuttle bus service will ultimately take business away from them.
The free shuttle bus service has been supported by USD 1.7 million of funding from the Toyota Mobility Fund and is operated by five fully electric vehicles and five hybrid vehicles.
Tourists and locals alike can hail a ride using the SMART @Ubud app.
There are 21 pick-up and drop-off points on the SMART @Ubud shuttle service. Tourists can book a ride up to 30 minutes in advance via the app and can use the service as many times as they like while in Ubud.
Pick-up and drop-off points include the Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud Palace, Ubud Art Market, the cafes on Jalan Hanuman, and all the way up to Bintang Supermarket and the Penestanan Stairs.
The service runs daily from 6 am until 11 pm and the trial is set to end in February, but this traffic-alleviating solution has not been well received by everyone.
One local tourist taxi driver lodged complaints this week and told reporters that the SMART @Ubud shuttle has not made any difference to the amount of traffic on the roads.
The Head of the Gianyar Transportation Agency issued a statement to confirm that an assessment is ongoing to ensure that the service does not negatively impact the livelihoods of local drivers and positively impacts the traffic issues in Ubud.
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