Bali’s Ambitious Plan to Construct LRT System with Help from Korea and UK

Bali's Ambitious Plan to Construct Light Rail Transit System with Help from Korea and UK (photo: fadhila nurhakim - unsplash)

The Bali Provincial Government has been highly enthusiastic about building an integrated road transport system, namely a light rail transit (LRT). The LRT is a form of transportation that consists of lightweight trains.

The development plan for this public transportation system has even been discussed by the National Development Planning Ministry (Bappenas) and has been rumored to receive support from foreign countries.

The South Korean government reportedly assisted in conducting a feasibility study on the project, which is estimated to cost around Rp 10 trillion. Moreover, the British government has also declared its support for collaboration with the Bali Provincial Government.

According to IGW Samsi Gunarta, Head of the Bali Provincial Transportation Agency, “From the estimation, the budget for the infrastructure and its facilities is around Rp 10 trillion.” The Transportation Agency will expedite the feasibility study of the project and prepare its funding afterward.

However, Samsi stated that funding from the Bali Provincial Budget (APBD) alone would not be sufficient, considering the significant amount of funding required. He stated, “We (Bali) cannot afford to finance this LRT project entirely.”

For the initial phase, the LRT route in Bali will be prepared from the I Gusti Ngurah Rai Bali airport to the primary tourist destinations in Badung Regency. Furthermore, the route will be expanded to cover all regions in Bali.

Samsi revealed that the Bali Provincial Government prefers to build LRT as opposed to other forms of public transportation because the airport does not have easy access for tourists to travel to tourist destinations. “First, we (Bali) do not have access. Second, if we continually rely on private vehicles on the road, it will be congested,” he added.

Samsi hopes that the Bali LRT will be realized swiftly and operating by 2027. The LRT is a lightweight train transportation system.

Regarding this plan, Governor Bali Wayan Koster has met with the British Ambassador to Indonesia and East Timor, Owen Jenkins, at the Jayasabha Building in Denpasar on May 11, 2023. Koster said that the LRT development plan is related to the implementation of clean energy policy.

As for the LRT, it is planned to connect the airport to the primary tourist area in Badung. Koster stated that he will follow up on the meeting’s results with Jenkins regarding the Bali LRT development plan.

“I responded to what he said earlier about the cooperation that will be continued, as well as the cooperation in certain fields that will be followed up by the Bali Provincial Government team with the team from the Embassy,” said Koster.

He stated that the British government is committed to building cooperation with the Bali Provincial Government, particularly in relation to electric transportation.

“Britain also wants to offer expertise in the field of clean energy and our latest energy. Plans like this are very suitable for the Bali Provincial Government, and we hope it can be followed up,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins also stated that the LRT project is one of the areas of expertise that Britain can offer, “Along with our continued support for the effectiveness of the Transjakarta bus system.”