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Bali embarks on a transformative journey with new railway network set to start in September 2024


Bali’s long-anticipated railway network construction is set for September 2024, aiming to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance connectivity between key destinations on the island.

The Indonesian island of Bali is poised for a significant transformation with the confirmation of a start date for the construction of the much-awaited Bali Railway Network. Indonesian Transport Minister, Budi Karya Sumadi, announced that the groundbreaking ceremony for this ambitious project is scheduled for September 2024, marking a pivotal moment in the island’s infrastructure development.

Despite minor delays, with initial hopes for construction to commence in the early months of the year, the project’s timeline remains largely on track. The first of the six rail lines, part of the Light Rail Transit System, will connect I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport with key areas including Seminyak and Mengwi, with stops at Renon in Denpasar and Central Parking in Kuta. This 30-kilometer route aims to streamline travel and reduce the notorious traffic congestion plaguing the island.

Funded by investment from a South Korean company, which is also responsible for ongoing feasibility studies, the project reflects a collaborative effort. The Bali Railway Network will operate as a joint venture between the Bali Province, holding a 51% share, and the Central government, with a 49% share. The Offices of the Governor of Bali and the Regent of Badung have committed to financing the rail link, underscoring the local government’s support for the initiative.

Transport Minister Sumadi expressed optimism about the network’s long-term impact, envisioning LRT trains connecting the airport to congested areas like Sunset Road, Legian, and Canggu. The project is seen as a crucial step towards solving Bali’s traffic woes and promoting sustainable development.

However, the impending tenure of new president-elect Prabowo Subianto introduces a layer of uncertainty regarding the project’s future. Subianto, who recently voiced his support for the revival of the North Bali Airport project during his campaign in North Bali, highlighted the need for diversified transportation solutions for tourism development and provincial security. The North Bali Airport, proposed for Buleleng Regency, aims to distribute tourism more evenly across the island and provide an alternative in case of emergencies at the existing airport.

Subianto’s commitment to maintaining Bali’s cultural integrity in the face of development projects resonates with both residents and Bali enthusiasts. The challenge lies in balancing infrastructure development with the preservation of Bali’s unique character and traditions.

As Bali grapples with its transportation and congestion issues, the consensus among government officials, from local to national levels, is clear: addressing these challenges is paramount. The goal is to create an environment where traffic, both local and tourism-related, flows smoothly, improving the overall experience for visitors and residents alike. With the Bali Railway Network and the potential North Bali Airport, the island stands on the brink of a new era in transportation, promising to redefine mobility while honoring its heritage.

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