Public Buses an Endangered Species in Bali

DENPASAR

The number of public transport vehicles plying Bali’s roads has dropped by more than half in recent years, and people turn increasingly to private vehicles.

Ketut Eddy Dharma Putra of the Bali branch of the Organisation of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) said that in Denpasar there were now only 400 public buses and minibuses, down from over a thousand five years ago.

Putra warned that as the number of public vehicles declined people turned away from them more rapidly.

“The vehicles still running don’t operate certain routes, the fare is expensive and they don’t run on time,” he said, adding that with more people buying cars and motorbikes to compensate, the congestion on Bali’s roads became worse.

“If this situation keeps up and there’s no solution, public transportation vehicles will be crowded out by private vehicles. We’re already seeing the impact in the form of the traffic jams everywhere,” he said.

In an attempt to reverse the trend the Bali government last year launched theTrans Sarbagita bus network with modern buses and purpose-built stops across south Bali, but passenger take-up has been slow and only one route between Batu Bulan and Nusa Dua currently in service.

Trans Sarbagita head Ida Bagus Parsha said that a new route linking Denpasar and Badung would be in operation later this year.

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