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Why Public Transport Doesn't Work in Bali

Balinese Prefer Private Vehicles and Motorcycles Over Public Transport for Getting Around Town and Across the Island.

(9/1/2008) Bisnis Indonesia reports that public transportation in Bali has been rendered non-viable by the preference for private car and motorcycle ownership.

The Chief of the Bali office of PT Jasa Rahardja, Nur Istiawan complained that there is now a ratio of one motorized vehicle for every two Bali residents. Explained Istiawan: "The non-viability of public transportation systems affects not only intra-city public transport but also inter-city transport as well. Motorcycles are the most preferred form of transport in Bali because of the ease of purchasing these two-wheeled vehicles that require down payments as little as Rp. 300,000 (US$32.60) with some dealers even offering no money down deals."

The preference for private vehicle ownership and the severity of the lack of demand for local public transport is demonstrated by the fact that busses will wait up to four days before accumulating sufficient passengers to make the 100 km run from Denpasar to Singaraja viable. Moreover, while it can take two hours to travel that distance on a bus, those traveling by motorcycle can cover the distance in only 1.5 hours.

Local authorities estimate that 65% of land transportation in Bali is dominated by tourist transport with the remaining 35% operated by public transport.

The lack of demand for public transport is also accentuated by the low cost of renting vehicles in Bali.

According to PT Jasa Rahardja - the state-owned insurer, the statistics related to private vehicle ownership in Bali are::

● Four-wheeled vehicles 400,000 units

● Two-wheeled vehicles 1.1 million units

● Number of Bali residents 3.4 million

● Amount of paved roads in Bali 6,300 kilometers.