It’s no secret that Bali relies heavily on tourism as its big money maker. And while the island’s economy has certainly been wounded since the volcano Mount Agung stirred back to life in September 2017, a longer term threat that Bali Province needs to subdue is traffic congestion, according to some.
While an underpass in front of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport is in the works to ultimately break up gridlock on busy Sunset Road and the Ngurah Rai By Pass and traffic police have experimented with changing the flow of one-way and two-way roads in the island’s crowded south, the public transportation situation—or lack thereof—really leaves something to be desired.
The chairman of the Bali Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) insists something needs to be done to improve public transportation in Bali, or there will be a strong impact on tourism.
“If it’s always jammed up, tourists will start to be less and less to Bali. They will be reluctant to travel here,” Bali Organda Chairman I Ketut Eddy Dharmaputra said on Wednesday, as quoted by Kabar24.
While Bali does have the Trans Sarbagita bus-line, visitors Bali opt to use private vehicles because the bus system does not meet international expectations. The bus network is limited and so are the available vehicles in the Trans Sarabgita fleet, laments Dharmaputra.
“Although Sarbagita is cheaper and comfortable and is much needed, the number of users is still minimal because the transportation is not well connected,” he said.
High-volume business areas and more-inhabited parts of the island should be prioritized, he said.
Another issue is vehicle size. Because the roads in Bali are not so big, buses used should be of medium size to fit the island’s narrow roads and so that they don’t simply add to congestion—like so many of those massive tourist coaches we’ve all been stuck behind in chock-a-block traffic.
Let’s hope the Province hears Dharmaputra’s pleas.