For as many videos, reels, and photos of picturesque Bali landscapes and attractions, as there are on social media, there are just as many traffic jams – there or thereabouts!
Bali’s traffic congestion woes are well documented by tourists and locals, and one thing is for sure: something has to change and quickly.
Indonesia’s Transportation Minster, Budi Karya Sumadi, has visited Bali ahead of construction work starting on the Bali Light Railway, set for 2024.
Minister Sumadi is hopeful that the development of the Bali LRT will help alleviate many of the problems on the island’s road network.
Minster Sumadi said, “Nowadays the region experiences chronic traffic jams which could harm Bali’s reputation as an international tourism destination if we do not handle this problem.”
@pimlicophil Loving the tranquility of Bali #balitraffic #bali #indonesia #indonesiatraffic #ubud #ubudtraffic #trafficjamsoftiktok #trafficjamsofbali #peaceandquiet #tranquility #piccadillycircus #itslikepicadillycircusinhere #itslikepiccadillycircus ♬ original sound – Pimlicophil
The Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, told reporters that he, too, feels that Bali needs a modern mass public transport network to drastically reduce the island’s traffic issues.
He told reporters this week, “At certain hours, the traffic is really crowded, especially from I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport to Kuta or Canggu.”
There are fears that if the issues aren’t solved soon, Bali will run the risk of becoming as gridlocked as the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta.
The acting governor expressed his gratitude to the central government for their support of the upcoming infrastructure projects.
He added, “Bali really needs modern tourism transportation…so we would like to thank the President and the Minister for their attention to the progress of tourism in Bali.”
@lauralhrx spending hours in traffic is just my new daily life #solotravel #trafficstop #baliindonesia #balilife #solowomentravel ♬ original sound – Terrence Jones
The Bali Provincial Government will hold the major stake in the project at 51%, while the central government will fund the other 49% in the first phase.
There are hopes that the groundbreaking for phase one of the multi-phase plan will get underway in early 2024, with the finer details still under discussion.
The first phase of the Bali LTR network will run from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport to the coastal resort of Seminyak via Central Parking in Denpasar.
Although Bali does have a public bus service, its network is not widely used by local people or by tourists. Although the Bali LTR is on the horizon, transportation specialists say that this isn’t a quick or cheap fix.
@gregoire.rssd Bali traffic #bali ♬ BALI INDONESIA – 𝖈 𝖆 𝖜 𝖎
The Deputy for Facilities and Infrastructure at the Transportation Ministry, Ervan Maksum, told reports earlier in the year “If you go underground, it can be three times the price than if you go up.”
“For example, from Ngurah Rai Airport to Kuta, it’s IDR 5 trillion, even though it’s not 4.9 kilometers, sir. Because going down is very expensive.”
Not only will an increased public transport network in Bali help reduce travel times and travel costs for tourists but also keep them safer.
In the last month alone, there have been dozens of reports of tourists involved in serious, even fatal, traffic collisions in Bali.
Tourists are urged to hire a taxi or private driver where possible when exploring the island, to not drive at night if it can be avoided, and to adhere to Indonesian traffic rules.
Nevertheless, even when tourists obey all the rules and prioritize their safety, Bali’s roads are objectively dangerous, with drivers across the island renowned for taking risks that put the lives of others in danger.
Late on Tuesday night a 21-year-old Dutch tourist died after colliding into the back of a lorry at the junction of Jalan Pemogan and Jalan Griya Anyar.
The motorcycle driver died on impact and appears to not have been wearing a helmet or protective riding gear.
Extremely graphic and distressing footage of the scene is being circulated online which is a shocking concept for many tourists and all too common occurrence in Indonesia.
Many people have called for local news outlets to exercise greater restrictions and respect for victims of collisions, as it is not uncommon for photos and videos to be posted online before the families of the causalities and fatalities have been informed.
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