In the first two months of 2020, before the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak, a daily average of 40,000 to 45,000 vehicles used the Bali Mandara Toll Road connecting Sanur-Kuta-Nusa Dua. More recently, amidst the tourism lockdown, that average number is closer to 8,000 vehicles per day.
NusaBali calculates that the use of the Jalan Tol Bali Mandara has decreased in November 2020 by 75% from pre-pandemic levels. Despite the downturn in traffic and, because the problem is one of diminishing demand instead of price resistance, the roadway’s management has no plans to reduce the toll tariff. What’s more, to help popularize the road’s use, the Toll Road Managers plan to launch soon a promotional program underlining the sensation of driving over the open ocean.
The spokesperson for Jasa Marga Bali Tol I, Putu Gandi Ginarta, speaking on Sunday, 25 October 2020, confirmed the drastic decline in toll road usage during the Pandemic. After recording an actual increase in traffic in January and February 2020, vehicular use declined by around 75% during April-October 2020.
Ginarta said that, typically, 80% of the toll road use is related to tourism. As a result, if Bali’s tourism industry slumps, traffic on Bali’s only toll road will also automatically dip.
Gandi explained that during the Pandemic, the toll road has carried only 8,000 to 10,000 vehicles each day, broken down further to 52% four-wheeled vehicles and 48% motorcycles.
Gandi continued, saying: “Once tourism recovers, we will create several programs to increase traffic, such as the promotion of the Bali Mandara Toll Road as a tourist destination with the unique sensation of driving over the sea, together with other promotional programs. We have prepared various ways to increase interest in using the toll road.”