Minister of Transportation pins hope on Bali LRT to solve island’s traffic woes

An LRT train in Jakarta for illustration. Photo: PT KAI
An LRT train in Jakarta for illustration. Photo: PT KAI

We hope that we can soon forget about inching along in bumper-to-bumper hell on motorbikes, because Budi Karya Sumadi, Indonesia’s Minister of Transportation, recently announced what sounds like concrete plans for a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in Bali.

Budi Karya said the Bali LRT, which has been under proposal for several years, is urgently needed to address the increasingly severe traffic congestion in Bali. Moreover, Bali is one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors each year.

“Bali is an international tourism showcase, and there is indeed chronic traffic congestion that could backfire if we don’t address it,” Budi Karya said in a written statement on Sunday.

The Balinese Provincial Government is taking the lead with a 51 percent stake in the project, while the central government is chipping in the other 49 percent. 

The Bali provincial government is currently prioritizing the construction of Phase 1 of the Bali LRT, which will cover 5.3 kilometers and connect I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport to Seminyak via Central Parkir Kuta.

Construction of Phase 1 is set to begin in 2024 and is expected to take three years to complete. Phase 2, extending the line from Seminyak to Mengwitani, will follow after Phase 1.

The LRT project is part of Bali’s long-term plan to develop an integrated public transportation system. The plan aims to reduce Bali’s dependence on private vehicles and motorbikes, which have contributed to congestion, air pollution and road accidents on the island.


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