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Transport Association Condemns Private Villa Transport

Transport Association Chief Says Unless Government Takes Action Against Illegal Tourist Transport His Members May Stop Renewing their Vehicle Permits.

(6/22/2009) The Chief of the Tourism Transport Association (Pawiba), Bagus Soediana, told BisnisBali that he deeply regretted the growing fleet of unlicensed vehicles serving hotels and commercial villas in Bali.

Rules set down by the Minister of Transportation specifically require that all tourist transportation be officially licensed for that purpose, a rule ignored by many hotels and villas who maintain their own fleet of transport vehicles. A survey conducted by the Bali Tourism Academy (STP) in 2007-2008 identified some 1,600 villas operating on the island. Based on an estimate of two vehicles per villa, Pawiba calculates some 2,300 illegal vehicles are now operating in Bali, a total that does not include the thousands more of unlicensed transport operated by various hotels.

With only 900 registered tourism vehicles in Bali, Soediana complained that the legal transport operators in Bali were being dwarfed by the illegal operators.

Because of this, Pawiba has renewed its call on the provincial government to enforce the law and bring into line the illegal transport operators working from villas and certain hotels. Soediana threatened that if the government continues to take no action against illegal transport operations there is a real possibility that the 130 registered transport companies who are members of Pawiba in Bali will soon refuse to renew their vehicle permits.

Soediana's complaint was echoed by Eddy Dharma Putra, Chairman of the Bali Transportation Agency (DPD Organda Bali), who confirmed that many villa operators are offering transfers and tours with unlicensed vehicles.

In the past, DPD Organda Bali has conducted road side inspections that have netted a number of illegal vehicles, with the drivers getting off with the simple reminder to soon organize the necessary permits and licenses.

In order to obtain the necessary licenses, villas and hotels wishing to run tourist vehicle would need to apply for an operating permit (izin usaha), a principle permit (izin prinsip) and a vehicle inspection certificate (uji kir). Alternatively, villa and hotel operators could outsource their transportation needs with licensed transportation companies who are members of Pawiba.

Presently vehicle with more than 9 seats are required to become members of Pawiba. Vehicle used for tourism with less than 9 seats are typically registered as part of the island's rental fleet of vehicles. Pawiba currently has some 900 busses on its books while there are 2,500 registered rental vehicles operating in Bali.

Tourists using illegal vehicles do not enjoy the insurance coverage provided with licensed transportation and also face the possible inconvenience of being made to disembark and seek in the middle of their journey if caught in a road-side document check.