The Bali Mandara Toll Road is trialing a new system for contactless, non-stop travel. At present drivers must stop at the toll gate and tap their pre-paid travel card. The trial requires drivers to download a specialist app called Cantas onto their phones. They will enter their payment details and give permission for the app to track their location.
The new system is called a Multi-Lane Free Flow System and it uses a Global Navigation Satellite System to conduct the contactless payment using GPS technology. It is hoped that the trial will be successful and can be implemented in the toll road’s new payment management system.
The trial will continue until the end of the year and following a review and some inevitable tweaks, the system will be rolled out long term. The team behind the trial hopes that it will enable more efficient travel for drivers and even cut down on running costs.
The process works by the GPS detecting the car’s location as the driver enters the toll road gate. The car is then tracked using map-matching on a centralized system until the driver goes through the toll road exit gate. The app then calculates the distance traveled and proceeds with the payment transaction. The whole process will be automated.
The Bali Mandara Toll connects Sanur to Kuta and Nusa Dua. The Ministry for Public Works is currently running a huge project to build a 96km toll road that connects Gilimanuk and Mengwi. This new toll road aims to be open and ready in time for the G20 Summit in November.
The project connects three regencies within Bali and is one of the island’s most ambitious infrastructure developments. The road runs through Badung, Jembrana, and Tabanan and has created hundreds of jobs in the construction sector.
The Bali Mandara Toll Road is undergoing other improvements too. The operations and maintenance manager Putu Gandi Ginantra said that the road is being repainted, the toll gates are undergoing repairs and teams are installing solar panels across 1.5km of the road too.
There are some that believe that the upscaling of transportation infrastructure ruins the traditional aesthetic of Bali. Others welcome the developments as it helps to improve the efficiency of transport for tourists and for local people. By diverting traffic to the toll roads that have designated lanes for mopeds, cars, and heavy goods vehicles streets across Bali become less congested and safer for drivers and pedestrians.
The infrastructure developments are being balanced with huge reforestation efforts across Bali. Reforestation initiatives linked to the toll road developments are focused on the mangrove ecosystems of southern Bali. There have been 750 mangrove trees planted so far with many more to go. This is another initiative that is being promoted heavily in the run-up to the G20 Summit.
Mangrove reforestation is a vital part of making sure coastal communities are protected against climate change. There are a number of coastal conservation projects running in Bali. The biggest is a partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency which this month has injected the second round of funding to complete phase two of the Bali Beach Conservation Project.
The intuitive focus is on conserving the coastline around Sanur Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, and Kuta Beach which overlaps with the reforestation element of the Mandara Toll Road improvements.
The Mandara Toll Road is often the first taste travelers have of Bali outside of Ngurah Rai Airport. Many taxi drivers and airport shuttle services use the toll road to transport visitors to Kuta Selatan, Uluwatu, and Jimbaran.
Heading north from the airport, the toll road connects drivers to the Ngurah Rai Bypass which curves around traffic-heavy Denpasar and joins highways that lead west all the way through to the pristine West Bali National Park.
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