Archipelago

China Railway interested
in building monorail in
Bali

China Railway Corporation, the national railway operator in China, has conveyed its excitement to invest in the construction of a monorail connecting all regencies in Bali, officials have said.

“China Railway came to me several months ago, requesting information related to the plan to build a monorail,” Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said recently.

Pastika added that officials from China Railway said they needed time to calculate its feasibility. They have not come to a conclusion,” he added.

The Bali administration would encourage China Railway to invest in the construction of the monorail. “I will try to ask them. We hope that they will invest in the project,” Pastika said.

The idea to construct a railway system in Bali first emerged in 2009 based on the premise that Bali had no integrated public transportation system to enable tourists to reach all corners of Bali, including its faraway villages, outside Kuta, Sanur and the southern parts of Bali. As well as being for the benefit of local people, the monorail would also be designed for tourists.

Unfortunately, the plan to develop a monorail in Bali folded and was filed away due to a study conducted by the state-owned railway company, PT KAI, revealing it to be impossible due to cost and technical issues. The study demonstrated that it was not feasible to build a railway system in Bali due to the very high price of land. The study estimated that the monorail project would cost Rp 17 trillion (US$1.74 billion).

Despite the study’s result, the provincial administration insists on continuing with the plan through private investment.

Pastika said that the monorail project was the new solution to provide good quality mass rapid transport on the island, as well as to boost equitable development throughout the island.

Pastika added that he hoped the severe congestion in southern Bali would be solved by the monorail. “By providing a monorail that also serves Kuta-Nusa Dua, for example, it would be very useful for the development of Ubud tourism,” Pastika said.

Head of the Indonesian Tour and Travel Agency Association (ASITA) in Bali, Ketut Ardhana, expressed his support for the monorail plan.

Ardhana explained that the new facility would be a good transportation mode for Bali round-trip packages for tourists. “Many tourists are actually eager to visit other places on the island, besides south Bali. They are even excited to stay in hotels in other parts of Bali, such as north Bali. But the long trip usually makes them cancel their plan. So, the monorail would be very good to manage their time while in Bali,” Ardhana said.

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