First LRT in Bali Indonesia to Reshape the Island’s Transportation System in the Coming Years

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The first LRT in Bali, an underground railway, begins construction in September, according to the government of Indonesia. The Bali LRT project will cost $876 million or Rp14.2 trillion.

An answer to Bali’s rising traffic congestion

The Bali LRT is a proposed light rail transit project that will improve the rising traffic congestion problems on the island. The railway project will connect the Ngurah Rai International Airport to Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, and Mengwi. The LRT project will have 4 phases.

The first phase of the project will commence this September 2024. It will be the light rail transit section connecting Ngurah Rai Airport to Kuta and covers 4.28 kilometers.

A South Korean Consortium, Korea National Railways (KNR), conducted the feasibility studies for the project. In the studies, the LRT features underground and elevated sections. The underground railway spans a length of 5.3 kilometers and the elevated section of the LRT spans 2.98 kilometers. There’s a total of 7 stations. There will be four underground stations, two elevated stations, and one at grade.

The decision to build a mostly underground railway is due to Bali’s already densely populated area, this is according to Traffic and Transportation Director, Arif Anwar.

The Ministry of Transportation will announce the contractor for the project in the coming months.

Construction on the Bali LRT is expected to take up to 3 to 4 years.

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The First LRT in Bali

There have been multiple Bali LRT proposals targeted at solving the traffic congestion problems in Bali. In 2011, the Ministry of Transport presented a proposed map of the Bali railway system which featured a circular railway.

In 2021, the Ministry released a new Bali LRT proposal. The proposal featured an LRT railway from the Ngurah Rai International Airport to Kuta and Seminyak. Once built, this railway will be the first LRT in Bali, Indonesia.

Risal Wasal, Director General of Railways at the Ministry of Transportation (Kemenhub), stated the final financing plans for the LRT are still under talks. “The United Arab Emirates and the UK are interested.” According to him, the project faces several prospective financiers.

Bali, Indonesia’s main tourist destination

Finally, the island of Bali has been Indonesia’s main tourist destination since its popularity in the 1980s. The island is home to 4 million people and sees an average of 450,000 tourists a month. Around 80% of Bali’s economy relies on the tourism industry and tourism-related businesses.

Due to the rise of incoming tourists and the growing population, the island of Bali grapples with the issue of traffic congestion. In recent data from the Bali Central Statistics Agency, there was a 7.2% increase in incoming tourists to Bali from March to June 2024.

The rise of tourists worsened the traffic situation, especially in tourist areas like Seminyak, and Kuta. This calls for an enhanced and efficient transportation system for Bali.

The Bali Urban Rail development and the first LRT in Bali are the government’s solutions to this traffic crisis.

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