On Friday, Bali’s arts and cultural capital, Ubud celebrated the launch of a new public transport initiative that could be the answer to a huge amount of the town’s transportation woes.
Ubud is famous for many things: incredible temples and the iconic palace, wonderful restaurants, and quaint markets, but in recent years, the traffic issues have been hitting the headlines all too often.
As part of a new partnership between the Provincial government and the Toyota Mobility Fund, Ubud is welcoming a 6-month trial of a new tourist shuttle bus service.
If successful, there are hopes that the project will become a permanent part of the tourism infrastructure in Ubud and maybe even be replicated in other busy and traffic-prone resorts.
The Toyota Mobility Fund has invested USD 1.7 million in bringing the trial shuttle bus service to Ubud and hopes are high for the project.
Now that the free shuttle bus service is up and running, here is everything you need to know about how to hitch a free ride in Bali.
The first step is to download the SMART Shuttle @ Ubud App onto your smartphone. The app can be found in the app store for Apple, Google, and Huawei devices. The app is free to download, and if you can’t find the app in the app store for whatever reason, scan the QR code to be taken straight to the right page.
Once downloaded, make an account. The details required are very simple, name, number, email, a password. It is recommended to turn on notifications and location services to get the most out of the app. It is possible to register for the app using a foreign phone number. To confirm registration users will be sent a one-time pin (OTP) before being able to make a trip booking.
The interface of the app is pretty straightforward, especially if you are already familiar with apps like Uber, Grab, and GoJek. The app loads in English as standard. Once successfully registered, it is time to book a shuttle service, and it’s really very easy.
On the booking screen, which is the main screen, simply select the pick-up and drop-off points as your trip requires. Next, select the preferred pick-up time and enter the number of passengers on the trip. Bookings may be made up to 30 minutes before pick up. If you are running late, the SMART Shuttle @ Ubud team requests that you cancel the booking and restart the process.
There are 21 pick-up and drop-off locations within the center of Ubud. All of the locations have been strategically chosen and sit within a 10-minute walk of the most popular attractions in Ubud, from historical sites to markets, shops, cafes, and accommodation hubs.
The pick-up and drop off sites are as follows – Pura Dalem Peliatan (The Main Bus Exchange) – Ubud District Office – Pura Desa Lan Puseh – Cafes at Hanoman Roadd – Monkey Forest Entrance – Cafes at Monkey Forest Road – Cafes at Monkey Forest Road 2 – Lapangan Astina Field – Ubud Art Market Building
The route continues to Puri Dalem Ubud Temple – Cafes at Raya Ubud Road – Bintang Supermarket – Cafes at Raya Ubud Road 2 – Neka Art Museum – Ubud Park – Hotel Tjampuhan (access to Penestanan Stairs) – Museum Puri Lukisan – Pura Desa Taman Kaja Temple – Hotels at Sri Wedari Rd – Ubud High School – Ubud Central Parking.
The Toyota Mobility Fund has contributed ten eEV shuttle buses to the trial program, which will run daily from 6 am until 11pm, including on holidays and weekends. The service will be available until February 2024.
It is possible to make multiple bookings on the app. However, the bookings cannot overlap each other on the same day.
Meaning groups who are traveling together but planning on exploring different parts of Ubud at different times must designate more than one app user to help organize the shuttle trips.
If for whatever reason passengers miss their booking, they will be tagged as a no-show and will be required to make another booking at the next available slot.
At the pick-up point, passengers will be required to scan their booking confirmation on their phones. If this does not work, the driver will be able to manually log the ride using the ticket confirmation number and the final four digits of the telephone number linked to the SMART Shuttle account.
There is a full FAQs section on the app that is accessible once an account is registered. There is also a dedicated hotline that passengers can contact during shuttle bus service hours. The number is +62-823-4020-4206 and can be accessed by call, SMS, or WhatsApp.
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