New traffic control system, buses hoped to ease congestion
With Rp 6 billion (US$702,000) in central government support, the Bali provincial authority will install an area traffic control system (ATCS) in strategic locations around Denpasar, Kuta, Nusa Dua and other high-volume areas to ease chronic traffic congestions that plague those places.
Made Santha, head of the province’s transportation office, said the system has already been successfully applied in several Southeast Asian countries. “It has been proven to alleviate traffic jams in Singapore.”
The ATCS is an integrated system connecting all traffic lights, CCTVs and other traffic signals with a monitoring office at the police headquarters.
“Staff at the headquarters will closely monitor traffic conditions in particular areas and will redirect congested routes to less jam-packed areas,” he said.
The office would begin installing the traffic control system at a number of intersections in strategic areas in Denpasar and Badung, South Bali.
The installation would continue in 2012 and 2013, he added.
In addition to installing the traffic control system, the local authority would also start operating a mass transportation bus system called Trans Sarbagita, connecting Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar and Tabanan regencies, next month.
The central government has provided 15 buses to accommodate passengers commuting from downtown Denpasar to the nearby regencies.
“The operation of Trans Sarbagita buses is expected to reduce traffic problems on busy streets, especially during office hours,” said Santha.
Passenger will only pay Rp 3,000 for bus fare. The cost per passenger is actually Rp 7,000, but the local authority granted a Rp 4,000 subsidy.
Traffic problems in Bali were mostly caused by uncontrolled increases in vehicle ownership. Data from the Bali Statistics Bureau showed that there were 1.55 million vehicles, of which 91.2 percent were privately owned.