Plans for a trial shuttle bus service for tourists in Bali’s arts and culture capital, Ubud, will launch later this week.
The new service is part of a partnership between the Provincial Government and the Toyota Mobility Fund.
The project is part of Toyota’s Sustainable Mobility Advancing Real Transformation (SMART) @ Ubud Program.
The initiative is a 6-month closed ecosystem trial that will start on the 22nd of September 2023 and finish in February 2024.
While the initial trial is only 6 months, the project is going ahead with a strong commitment to introducing a shuttle bus scheme in Ubud on a permanent basis.
The Toyota Mobility Fund will be investing USD 1.7 million in conducting the trial. The project will implement two urban mobility solutions in the tourism hotspot.
The first solution on trial is the introduction of ten on-demand eEV shuttle buses that will drive around the Central Ubud tourist area.
There will be 21 pick-up and drop-off stops along the circular route that are all within a 10-minute walking distance of the most significant and popular tourist destinations. The stops will include
Pura Dalem Peliatan (Bus Exchange) – Ubud District Office – Pura Desa Lan Puseh – Cafes at Hanoman Rd – Monkey Forest Entrance – Cafes at Monkey Forest Road – Cafes at Monkey Forest Road 2 – Lapangan Astina Field – Ubud Art Market Building – 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
Tourists must download the SMART Shuttle @ Ubud app from the app store, available on Apple, Google, and Huawei. Once registered for an account, tourists will be able to book a ride on the shuttle bus. The QR code will also be on display around central Ubud to download the app on the go.
Passengers can make a booking within the app, which functions very similarly to Uber, Grab, or GoJek. They can select the location and drop-off point, the time of collection, and the number of passengers.
@xxabcdits Naik mobil di ubud cuma bertahan sejam sisanya sewa motor wkwk #bali #ubud #ubudtraffic #balitraffic #ubudbali ♬ original sound – Andrei King
Bookings can only be made up to 30 minutes prior to the desired pick-up time. The service will run daily between 6 am and 11 pm.
The second solution that will be brought into effect as part of the partnership is to install nine digital screens along the bus stops of the existing Trans Metro Dewata Route; this will provide real-time bus timings for commuters and the local community.
According to the Toyota Mobility Fund, the new shuttle service in Ubud and the digital screens along the Trans Metro Dewata Route will bring great benefits.
They say ‘TMF will engage in capacity building initiatives, with the end goal of developing concrete recommendations to create a potentially sustainable and viable business models tailored to the local community, and thereby enhance the state of mobility in Ubud by reducing air pollution, alleviating traffic congestion, and promoting the use of electrified public transportation.“
The new shuttle service in Bali could be a huge step in the right direction for both transportation and tourism management on the island.
There are already hopes that if the 6-month trial is a success, the program will receive funding to become a permanent fixture and be rolled out in other destinations across the island that are as equally affected by tourism traffic congestion as Ubud.
Just this week, Ministers have confirmed that Bali risks reaching near-total gridlock by 2027 if urgent solutions to the traffic management problems are not implemented quickly.
There are a series of big projects in the pipeline to help make it easier for tourists to explore the Island of the Gods, including the LTR Train Link, the Gilimanuk-Medewi Toll Road, and in 2024 huge renovations to the highways that lead into the resort area of Uluwatu.
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