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The End of Horsing Around in Kuta?

Worsening Traffic Congestion in Kuta, Bali May Foreshadow the Final Days for Horse and Carriage 'Dokar' Trade.

(10/2/2011) The days may be numbered for the dokars or horse drawn carriages that ply the streets of Kuta in Bali.

Members of the Denpasar Dokar Association are find that the chronic traffic congestion along Kuta’s busy beachfront and competition from taxis are making the horse-drawn transport a less-than-preferred mode of public transport by Bali visitors.

NusaBali quotes a dokar driver, Mak Din (27), saying: “it’s as though dokars are less preferred by visitors, especially in Kuta’s current situation of traffic becoming more and more congested.”

The estimated 42 dokars who work in Kuta are also finding the competition for customers extremely intense.

Equally intense is the competition for parking spaces along main roads from at which the horses can rest while waiting for passengers. “We are often compelled to keep driving our dokars just looking for a place to park,” complained Mak Din.

As a result, dokar drivers are having run-ins with the police and local authorities when they park in areas officially off-limit for parking.

Drivers have asked local authorities to consider the future of dokar operations in Kuta and create special traffic bays for their horse and carriages.

Meanwhile, the dwindling popularity of the dokar as a means of transportation is reflected in the comments of a domestic tourist, Rindy (22), who says he enjoys using this means of transportation, but that traffic congestions an high temperatures are dissuading him from climbing aboard a dokar. Explaining, “it’s better if I just walk; I'll get to my destination quicker.”