Bali Traffic Begins to Calm on 29 Dec 2023

On Friday, 29 December 2023, the same day that Bali experienced a historical degree of gridlock on the roads leading from the Bali Mandara Toll Road to the Ngurah Rai Airport 

Gridlock, toll road operators reported a record number of 73,000 vehicles traveling the road in a single day.

Quoted by, I Putu Gandi Ginantra, Operations and Maintenance manager of the Mandara Bali Toll, said traffic on the toll road between 1:00 and 2:00 pm on Friday was still moving smoothly. Friday’s gridlock and long traffic jams appeared starting from 3:00 pm until late in the evening. 

Gandi said that heavy traffic congestion on the arterial roads leading both to and away from the Toll Road precipitated the gridlock on the toll road. 

Gridlock on 19 December in Bali

The 73,000 vehicles that traveled on the toll road on 29 December was almost twice the projected 38,000 vehicles expected daily during the holiday rush. Toll authorities break down the deluge of travelers, which comprised 35% motorcycles and the remaining 65% sedans and other four-wheeled vehicles. 

The 29 December 2023 total of 73,000 vehicles is the largest number recorded in a single day since the roadway opened in 2013. One year ago, on 29 December 2022, 50,000 vehicles traveled the tollway. 

Toll officials report that by Saturday, 30 December 2023, the traffic on the toll road had returned to normal without any further gridlock situations. 

Meanwhile, toll authorities strongly recommend that travelers ensure their stored cash toll payment cards are topped up to allow them to flow smoothly through the automated toll gates.

The Bali transportation office is trying to remedy the situation by offering free shuttle bus transfers until 03 January to and from the airport from Nusa Dua, Benoa, and Sentral Parkir.

Since the unprecedented traffic calamity of 29 December 2023, additional traffic personnel from the police, Indonesian Armed Forces, and Aviation Security have been deployed to key areas to ensure traffic keeps moving.

Part of the traffic of the 2023/2024 holiday congestion in Bali was fueled by the heavy traffic volume on the Ketapang-Gilimanuk (Java-Bali) ferry crossing. In the 24 hours from Friday morning (29/12) to Saturday (30/12), 32,680 passengers traveled the crossing from Java to Bali. During this period, 7,168 vehicles made the crossing, ranging from motorcycles (1.869 units, sedans (3,449), busses (453), and trucks (1,415).

Air and water transport after the holidays back to Java is predicted to peak between 01 – 04 January 2024.

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