The End of the Bus, Gus?

Governor and Provincial Lawmakers to Soon Decide the Future of Trans Sarbagita Bus System
NusaBali reports that Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika is seriously reviewing recommendations to end the loss-making Trans Sarbagita Bus System serving Denpasar-Badung-Gianyar-Tabanan.

The municipal bus system is losing Rp. 12 billion annually.

The Trans Sarbagita review is being undertaken by the Governor in cooperation with the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) who must jointly agree before the service is ended. The bus system was paid for by the Central Government in Jakarta with the expense of operating Trans Sarbagita falling to the Provincial Government.

The Governor said: “If the Trans Sarbagita Bus System has not succeeded, then we will evaluate it. How can the Trans Sarbagita Bus work when the Balinese prefer to drive their own motorbikes? What’s more, the down payments for a motorcycle or a car are very low.”

When asked about recommendations from a member of DPRD-Bali that the subsidy paid to operate the Bus System be diverted to agriculture, Pastika said that was a matter to be decided by legislators. Adding: “The subsidy paid to operate the Trans Sarbagita bus system was Rp. 18 billion a year in the beginning. This has been reduced by stopping some of the bus services. Now it goes back to the legislature. The Provincial Budget is a matter of law.”

The Governor speculated that if the Trans Sabargita Bus System was abandoned the armada of busses might be rented out or auctioned off. Adding: “But we have to first wait to hear from the Central Government and the Legislature. Are we authorized to auction the busses? If the buses were used as tourism transport, this would provide income to the Province. We have to speak to the Central Government to prevent making a mistake.”

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