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Bali on Two-Wheels

Number of Motorcycles Traveling Baliís Roads Estimated at 1.5 million Units

(7/11/2011) The State News Agency Antara estimates there are more than 1.5 million motorcycles operating on Bali - an island with a population of nearly 4 million. Traffic authorities estimate that each day another 500 new motorcycles are purchased and launched onto the island’s already crowded roadways.

The Department of Transportation, Information and Communications for Bali estimates that over the past 12 years the number of motorbikes in Bali has increased 10.01 percent.

Sugeng Sugianto, the head of the Department, said that in 1998 there were 569,305 registered motor vehicles in Bali. From that total, 436,614 (81.4%) were motorcycles. By the end of 2010, the number of registered motor vehicles totaled 1,765,372 of which 1,509,750 (85.5%) are two-wheeled motorized bikes.

Sugianto said: “Every day between 300 and 500 new motorcycles leave the factories and are sent to Bali. These vehicles are in great demand by the Balinese as a form of daily transportation.”

The traffic official blamed the high volume of motorcycle traffic in Bali as a major cause of the island’s worsening traffic problem.

The Secretary of the Bali Transport Organization (Organda), Yus Suhartana, agrees, contending that easy credit terms for people wishing to buy motorcycles puts these vehicles within the reach of the general public. “By paying a deposit of only Rp. 500,000 to Rp. 1 million (US$57-US$114), a person can own a motorbike. It’s not surprising that people line up at dealers to purchase new motorcycles,” he explained.

Suhartana added: “Every household in Bali can have four to five motorcycles. In one family, beginning from the father, mother, children and even the family servant - all have their own motorcycle.”