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Small But Significant Progress Made On Bali Rail Network 

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Investors have started sharing their interest in the Bali Rail Network Project.

The initiative has been on the cards for years, and leaders have been increasingly keen to get things moving to help tackle the island’s mounting traffic issues and create a reliable public transportation network. 

Trainline in Indonesia window view.jpg

On Wednesday, 29th May, an event was held at the Bali Governor’s Office called “Submitting Investment Interest in Bali Urban Rail and Associated Facilities and Submitting Qualification Documents.”

The event was attended by the Acting Governor of Bali, Sang Made Mahendra Jaya, the Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning, Suharto Monoarfa, and the Minister of Investment, Bahlil Lahadalia.

Acting Governor Jaya told the audience, “This event is a new milestone in the development of transportation infrastructure in Bali. Construction and development of tourism corridors equipped with train-based mass public transportation systems through a business-to-business investment model.”

Acting Governor Jaya acknowledged that fiscal constraints have played a part in the project, which has taken quite a long time to take form.

He also acknowledged that the traffic congestion experienced on a daily basis in tourist resorts like Canngu, Kuta, Seminyak, and Ubud must be urgently addressed.

Jaya also confirmed that potential investors have ‘moved quickly’ to complete the tender and procurement processes. He revealed that one company in the running is PT Bumi Indah Prima.

The event was also attended by the Regent of Badung Nyoman Giri Prasta, the Deputy Mayor of Denpasar, the Deputy Regent of Tabanan, and the Acting Regent of Gianyar.

Minister of Investment Bahlil Lahadalia has promised to provide a number of incentives for the construction of the project now referred to as the ‘Bali Urban Rail.’ 

Lahadalia confirmed that he would be making the acquisition of permits easier, scrapping tax on imported goods for development needs for the project, and tax breaks. 

Minister Lahadalia added, “We from the Ministry of Investment will push for licensing matters. Whoever wins, please [go ahead]. We will speed up licensing.” 

He added “Later we will also check, if we really have to give a tax holiday as long as we comply with the regulations, we will give it. This is the downstream version of tourism. If you’ve made a profit, don’t pay taxes or if you’ve made a profit, say you’ve made a loss. We’ll check that later.”

Jakarta Metro Trains By Trees In Daytime.jpg

Speaking at the event the Minister of National Development Planning, Suharso Monoarfa, said “I would like to not have a tax holiday if possible. Because of that difficulty. Fiscally, we already have too many holidays. But when it comes to permits, import duties, why not. I agree with that. I heard the IRR is good. So don’t give tax (holidays) like that.”

While this stage of the project may not seem that important or significant to holidaymakers and long-stay tourists in Bali, this project will ultimately completely change the way in which the public moves around the island.

The Bali Urban Rail, as it is now being referred to, will connect I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport with Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu. The rail service is also set to stop at Renon in Denpasar, Central Parking in Denpasar, and the newly revamped resort of Sanur.


What is still unclear is whether plans to create the Bali Urban Rail system as an underground network will be permitted.

There were tentative plans, and public conversations in 2023 that suggested at least part of the network would be an underground line.

However, concerns were raised regarding the high cost of such a construction endeavor, with many leaders noting that they want to be making progress as soon as possible, with work underway by the end of 2024.


Leaders in Bali have been cooperating and consulting with leaders in Jakarta regarding lessons that can be learned from the Jakarta Metro system, with Jakarta-based leaders turning to Bali authorities to learn about tourism development. 

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Sunday 2nd of June 2024

Pipe dream lah! This will never happen. They keep pushing it back and delaying. Talk only but it will not get done. Welcome to Indonesian.


Saturday 1st of June 2024

Just got back from a rail trip from Surabaya to jogjakarta..just awesome to look out the window at the landscape without a care about traffic dangers...


Monday 3rd of June 2024

@Peter, there are some still potentially great train rides in In Indo. The Gambir( Jakarta) to Jogja was in the top great train rides of the world along with the Jak to Bandung. The problem is Indo overall has become a polluted cess pit of Local waste disposal behaviours. The worst in the real world. I lived in China they are much better. Ingestation of micro plastics, Indonesia your the top of the list, great job


Saturday 1st of June 2024

I would certainly worry about flooding in underground facilities and the possibility of earthquakes, power cuts, Indonesia is so far behind in the world


Friday 31st of May 2024

Quite revealing article. The mention of "fiscal constraints" means: no money available to build LRT.

Foreigners could finance but they would want guarantee of minimum income and since Indonesian will want to subsidize ticket prices this will be costly for Bali.


Friday 31st of May 2024

As ridiculous as the Bali Urban Rail idea is, it is just a joke and will never happen. These government ministers and Island governance love a get together where they get fed and feted and glow in their own bubble of self importance and lack of accountability. The rail network is urgently needed to solve the traffic congestion. Dream on it would never solve it and blind Freddie could see 20 years ago that there were going to be increasing issues on Bali/indonesian roads. The roads around the island have become a dangerous risky nightmare where half the locals think they are racing at Mandalika every time they're on the road. Nothing will change and the Urban Rail network project is dead in the water just like the North Bali Airport. Mind you we can rejoice as the incoming President will be delivering milk and food to all Indonesian children. Like the rail system that also will never happen.