Trans Sarbagita: Denpasar-Jimbaran route starts Friday
The 10 buses plying the new Trans Sarbagita route connecting downtown Denpasar with the Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) cultural park in Jimbaran, Badung regency, were set to hit the roads on Friday.
“There will be no launch ceremony. The buses will start serving passengers by 5 a.m. tomorrow (Friday), from the first stop in front of state senior high school SMAN 7 at Jl. Kamboja 1,” Trans Sarbagita operations head Ida Bagus Parsa told Bali Daily on Thursday.
“Just like the existing Batubulan-Nusa Dua route, this route will operate free-of-charge until the end of August,” said Parsa, citing the free-ticket program initiated by the province since June with the aim of celebrating, to name a few, the anniversaries of Bali and Independence Day. On regular days, Trans Sarbagita, which runs daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., charges a fixed tariff of Rp 3,500 (37 US cents) for adults and Rp 2,500 for students.
The medium-sized buses, with a capacity of 35 passengers each, will be stopping at 17 stops — Kamboja 1/SMAN 7, Kamboja 2/Saraswati, Surapati 2/Surapati 3, Sudirman 2/Udayana University, Sudirman 3/SMAN2, Sanglah Hospital, Pesanggaran, Pedungan, Dewa Ruci, Kedonganan, Jimbaran1, Udayana 1, Udayana 2, Udayana 3, Udayana 4, Udayana 5, and finally at GWK — along the 27-kilometer route.
As the route passes seven campuses and dozens of schools, Parsa said that Trans Sarbagita had been distributing route maps to those schools and campuses, and would also equip the bus attendants with maps for passengers.
The new route intersects with Trans Sarbagita’s first route (Batubulan–Nusa Dua) at three bus stops: Pesanggaran, Pedungan and Dewa Ruci. Passengers hoping to continue their journey to the island’s southern tip and tourist destinations at Uluwatu can transfer using feeder minibuses at Kedonganan or the GWK terminal. At GWK, passengers can also take a shuttle to watersport destinations at Tanjung Benoa.
Meanwhile, feeder buses for four more circular routes, to and from Ngurah Rai Sports Stadium, Matahari Terbit near Sanur, P. Nias and Suci in downtown Denpasar, have been promised by the Denpasar transportation agency and should start operating by September.
Parsa acknowledged that currently the construction of three bus stops at Kamboja 2/Saraswati, Surapati 2/Surapati 3 and Sudirman 3/SMAN 2 had not been completed. However, he was sure that the safety of passengers would not be affected.
“Due to administrative delays, the funding to complete the construction of those bus stops is still underway. The bus stops have no roof yet, but we will accommodate passengers with proper ergonomic steps to enter the bus,” said Parsa, stating that each bus stop cost Rp 40 million to build. He also said 20 additional stops for both routes were under construction through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs of several private companies and were targeted for completion next month.
Bali’s integrated mass transportation system, Trans Sarbagita, is targeting a total of 17 main routes and 36 feeder bus routes by 2019. The Mengwi Terminal-Ngurah Rai airport route and the Sanur-Petitenget route are expected to be launched next year, while in 2014, three more corridors are planned: Sentral Parkir Kuta-Tanah Lot, Sanur-Nusa Dua via Ngurah Rai airport and Sanur-Ubud.
Since its initial operation last year, Bali’s first mass land transportation system aims to reduce the worsening traffic congestion in southern Bali. However, some perceive that the presence of the large buses in downtown Denpasar will instead worsen the traffic.
Parsa said that Trans Sarbagita had anticipated the possibility of busy traffic at three points: Kamboja, Sanglah Hospital and Pesanggaran, by providing more officers to manage these areas.
“Bali transportation agency will place personnel at those spots to regulate and monitor the traffic for the next two weeks. We hope the Denpasar transportation agency and the police will also support us with their personnel,” said Parsa. “It is also high time that motorists improved their behavior on the roads, because we all know that they also contribute significantly to traffic congestion by parking illegally on both sides of the road,” said Parsa.