Flooding, landslides hit transportation business hard

Transportation businesses in Bali are suffering financial losses due to ongoing flooding and landslides in Bali and Java. I Ketut Eddy Dharma Putra, chairman of the Bali Association of Land Transportation Owners (Organda), said the impact of the current extreme weather was much more serious than in previous years. “Flooding has crippled North Java’s coastal routes [Pantura], which are the major routes linking Sumatra-Java-Bali and other islands. Pantura is also the main route for distributions of goods,” Eddy said.

He said Bali Organda’s member companies operating interisland bus and transportation services were the most affected. “Flooding has caused the closure of main routes, which of course affects operational costs and human resources,” Eddy said. Some transportation companies had to halt operations, pending improvements in the weather conditions, he said. He cited an example that flooding and landslides in Situbondo, East Java, had closed the southern route connecting East Java and Central Java.

“Buses and vehicles from Bali have to pass Situbondo to reach Surabaya and other cities in East and Central Java. This is the most important, and shorter, route,” he said. Flooding and landslides had caused long queues of traffic and the closure of alternative routes as well, he added. With the closure of major routes, the majority of transportation companies have had to swallow a bitter pill. “We have to stop operating our fleets, which also means we cannot get any revenue,” Eddy stated.

At the same time, companies still have expenses for vehicle maintenance and wages for drivers and other workers. Eddy said there was stiff competition among land transportation companies. “The rise in budget airlines has also affected our businesses. But there are still opportunities as we can serve remote places that do not have any flight services,” Eddy said. Eddy said that air and land transportation complemented each other. “Many foreign tourists want to take trips by bus to see places in Bali and Java,” he said.

School students and domestic visitors were the main target market, especially during school and religious holidays. I Ketut Wija, second assistant with the provincial administration for economic and development affairs, said that the extreme weather had affected distribution of staple foods and other commodities to Bali. “Bali still relies on other islands to procure basic commodities. The extreme weather has disturbed distribution of such goods,” he said.

source : bali daily

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