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Bali or Bus!

Missing Buses, Blocked Sidewalks and a Lack of Bali Architectural Touches are Plaguing Baliís Delayed Sarbagita Mass Transit System

(6/19/2011) The long-promised and long-awaited Sarbagita mass public transportation system for Bali appears doomed to yet another delay. The latest delay is attributed to the failure of the Central Government to deliver fifteen 36-seat busses to Bali.

Despite promises by the Director General of for Land Transportation, Ali Moeso, at a training session in Gianyar in May, that the new busses would arrive in Bali, at the latest by the month of June, the busses have failed to materialize by mid-June causing the Bali Post to suggest that the people of Bali have been "lied to" by officials in Jakarta.

Reacting to this criticism, the provincial head of the Transportation Ministry, Made Santha, said on June 14, 2011, that there was little that could be done. “Actually, the provincial government of Bali is ready with bus stops, signage and money to finance operations. However, the problem at this moment is that we don’t have a firm date for when the buses from Jakarta will be delivered,” explained Santha.

Bus Stops Criticized

Meanwhile, NusaBali reports that Denpasar lawmakers are criticizing the provincial government of Bali for poor coordination in the creation of bus stops, the poor positioning of bust stops and a failure to incorporate any Balinese architectural elements in their construction.

“This is clearly a violation: first the construction does not use ‘Bali style’ and second, the stops are being on top of the sidewalks,” complained Eko Supriadi, the chairman of commission B of the Denpasar House of Representatives (DPRD-Denpasar). The offending bus stops or bus halts have been built on the Byapss highway in the area of Sanur and Tohpati. Added Supriadi, “this is Bali, not Jakarta.”

Ari Sucita, vice-chairman of Commission A of the DPRD-Denpasar, joined the chorus of protests, insisting that the bus stops should conform to local rules and include Balinese stylings in their construction. Adding, “Now the new bus halts are using a minimalist concept.

Complaining that there was no formal memorandum of understanding between the various stakeholders of the Sarbagita mass transit system, Sucita also bemoaned the fact that the bus stops have rendered sidewalks useless by building the bus stops on existing public walkways. “They should have prepared special land of at least 4 meters wide for the construction of the bus stops to keep sidewalks open and avoid buses interfering with traffic flows.

Separately, the chief of zoning and housing for Denpasar, Kadek Kusuma Diputra, also said he was surprised with the way in which the bus stops were being constructed in Sanur. Said Duputra: “I was also also shocked by the bus stops being built without any coordination with my department. There was also no prior notice.” Asking why the stops in Sanur did not follow the halts built on Jalan Diponegoro and Jalan Surapati, he added, “indeed, they should have used Balinese stylings.”

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