Bali

Trans Sarbagita begins
amid high expectations,
worsening traffic

After a delay of more than a year, the public bus service called Trans Sarbagita officially hit the roads on Thursday, with the first route ferrying passengers between Batubulan in Gianyar and Nusa Dua in Badung.

The route stops at Tohpati, the Ngurah Rai Bypass, Dewa Ruci intersection, Jl. Setia Budi, Jl. Raya Kuta, Kuta Central Park, Jl. Raya Kuta, Jl. Sunset Road, Dewa Ruci intersection, and the BTDC area in Nusa Dua. Buses operates daily from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m.

The Jakarta Post tried the service, which is designed to reduce traffic congestion in Bali’s busy south, and reduce people’s dependency on private vehicles.

A man dressed in an orange Balinese endek (Balinese top) and black trousers politely welcomed passengers on to the bus.

His name tag read Putu Arya Susila, driver’s assistant. The driver was also smartly dressed in a white shirt, orange tie and black trousers.

The big bus, provided by the central government, has 33 seats, four of which are reserved for the disabled, senior citizens and women with babies. The bus, equipped with air conditioning and music, has 20 handles for standing passengers.

On its maiden voyage, the bus departed Batubulan terminal with only two passengers.

“The bus is only allowed to stop at the terminal for 10 minutes, so we will embark no matter how many passengers we carry,” Susila said.

The driver’s assistant then sold tickets to the passengers; Rp 3,500 for adults and Rp 2,500 for students.

The driver steered the 12-meter-long, 2.45-meter-wide bus with great care, especially around tight corners.

During a tryout last week, one of the 15 buses hit the front gate of the BTDC area in Nusa Dua.

The bus made its first stop on the Ngurah Rai Bypass, near the Tohpati intersection. A passenger embarked on the bus. She said that she had been waiting a long time for the bus to come.

“Why did it take so long? It was said earlier that the busses would come every 15 minutes,” said Ni Putu Ayu Erni, who works in the BTDC area.

Eighteen busses serve the route. Although there were no passengers at most of the bus stops, the bus still waited for one minute at each stop.

The trip from Batubulan to Nusa Dua took one hour and 51 minutes, longer than the advertised time of one hour and 40 minutes.

“I arrived late at work, thanks to the bus,” Ni Putu Ayu Erni said when she arrived at the last bus stop in front of the Bali Collection in Nusa Dua.

However, the disgruntled passenger said she would continue to use the bus to get to work over the next few days. “It’s more comfortable and safer than riding a motorcycle,” she said.

At the BTDC bus stop, busses arrived every 23 minutes, longer than the planned maximum interval of
15 minutes.

The trip from Nusa Dua to Batubulan took even longer, 2 hours and 11 minutes, due to a traffic jam at the intersection near Ngurah Rai International Airport and the notoriously congested Dewa Ruci intersection.

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