Posted by on October 4, 2017

Shock to the system: The line at the Bali Mandara Toll on the first day of no-cash payments, Oct. 1, 2017. Photo via Info Badung

The Bali Mandara Toll Road stopped accepting cash payments on Oct. 1 and looking at the photos of the lines to get onto the road in the first few days, you would think it’s the coming of the apocalypse.

Photos taken of the toll road under the new exclusively-electronic system have gone viral, showing super long queues of motorists packed together, waiting to get on the road.

The toll, which is Indonesia’s first “floating toll road,” is located in south Bali and is a major connector between Nusa Dua, the airport, and Sanur. Stretching eight kilometers across Benoa waters to link those points, the toll road has proved to be quick ‘shortcut’ between the different areas since it was completed in 2013 and is usually quite a quick ride when everyone’s not confused about how to pay.

State-owned toll road operator, PT Jasa Marga Bali Toll (JBT), made the announcement at the end of August 2017 that the Bali Mandara Toll would move away from cash starting October 1, towards electronic-only payments.

JBT says it saw an uptick of e-payment users since they made their announcement, as only 14 percent of drivers paid electronically at the toll in August. That figure reached 44 percent by the end of September after the announcement, and e-payment users will of course have to be 100 percent this month with cash no longer being accepted.

But looking at the long lines of people totally unprepared to pay electronically, it appears the message did not really register right away with the general public.

“The challenge in the future is that we must continue to improve our understanding so that people are accustomed to doing non-cash transactions,” said JBT director, Ahmad Tito Karim.

There is not one single, toll, universal card to use on the Bali Mandara Toll. While there is E-Toll, JBT is also working with a number of banks to provide electronic money cards, including Mandiri (E-Money), BRI (Brizzi), BNI (TapCash), BCA (Flazz), BTN (Blink), and BPD Bali (E-Money), plus you can also buy a card at Indomaret. These e-payment cards are not just valid in Bali; they could also be used at any other JBT toll in Indonesia.

The country as a whole is working to get all its tolls as “e-payment only.”

By no longer accepting cash payments, Bali is ahead of the curve, setting an example for the rest of the country, according to head of the Indonesian Toll Road Authority (BPJT), Herry TZ.

“Bali is a role model, amid the new national ‘electronification,’” said TZ.

Role model as it is, Bali’s still going to need some time to adjust. Lines as of Tuesday afternoon on the motorbike section of the toll looked dense, but not anything nearly as bad as on Sunday.

Re-posted by Pande

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