Bali’s Future Railway To Operate Underground, Says Government

Bali's Future Railway To Operate Underground, Says Government

The National Planning Agency of Indonesia has confirmed that the forthcoming Light Rail Transit will operate as an underground transportation system.

The law mandates that the development of buildings or infrastructure must not result in the removal of temples, sacred areas, or the majority of agricultural land. Additionally, structures are restricted from exceeding the height of a coconut tree.

“In Bali there is a big problem, buildings can’t be taller than coconut trees, they can’t go up. If you want to widen the road there are lots of temples. So how do you do it? You have to go down, the only way,” The Deputy for Facilities and Infrastructure at the National Planning Agency, Evran Maksum explained.

Bali’s LTR system is being developed to address the growing traffic congestion on the island. Currently, Bali handles an average of 18,000 travelers per day by air.

The train line will provide a direct connection from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport to the most popular resorts in the south of the island.

Maksum explained, “In Bali, it can take 2-3 hours to get to the airport at peak hour. The problem is that time is expensive, and even though Bali is small, it’s a problem. One solution is to use trains to speed up mobility in pockets.”

“Because of tourism, it is clustered in there in Jimbaran, Seminyak, Kuta, Nusa Dua and Sanur.”

The project has been discussed in recent years as an interurban rail network, but over time the government seems willing to invest more money in the project if it means completing the work faster.

Just 4.9 km of underground rail will cost IDR 5 trillion, according to Maksum. He added, “If you go underground, it can be three times the price than if you go overground.”

The cost of building an underground subway system along the entire rail line is estimated at USD 592 million, or IDR 9 trillion.

The double-track rail line under consideration will start at the Bali airport. From the airport, one will loop through Reno, Sanur and Benoa.

The second loop takes you to Seminyak and stops at Kuta and Legian, two well-known beach resorts.

Transport authorities are working with partners in Jakarta to bring the railroad to life, making it an unprecedented construction project for Bali.

Government officials from Jakarta will consult on the LTR project, and tourism industry executives in Bali will work to create new hospitality and travel programs in the nation’s capital. 

Tuhiyat, the main director of MRT Jakarta, announced earlier this year that MRT Jakarta would also contribute to the financing of the Bali rail project.