Suherdjoko, 600000 – This year's mudik (exodus) has seen fewer traffic accidents, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy reported on Monday.
The minister said that the number of people involved in traffic accidents during the mudik period this year was recorded at 2,117, down from last year's number of 3,573. The number of traffic accident deaths also decreased from 583 last year to 164 this year.
"The Lebaran traffic flow management this year is better. This is thanks to hard work from all related parties, especially the National Police, [state toll-road operator] Jasa Marga and regional administrations," Muhadjir said on Monday in Semarang, Central Java, as he officially launched the one-way traffic management for the return flow.
To help alleviate traffic, authorities are hoping to stagger the return to Jakarta by enacting an odd-even policy and a one-way traffic policy on the trans-Java toll road from Kalikangkung in Central Java to Cikampek in West Java from Monday to Friday, as well as from April 29 until May 1, the weekend following Idul Fitri.
As the seven-day Idul Fitri holiday period came to an end on Tuesday, millions had begun the return trip from their hometowns, while others took the chance to flock to tourist destinations in and around Jakarta.
According to Jasa Marga, some 222,000 cars heading back into Greater Jakarta crowded several toll roads across Java on Monday. Close to 60 percent of these cars, or around 131,000 vehicles, passed through the Kalihurip and Cikampek toll gates, the main entryways for motorists returning to Jakarta from areas east of the capital.
The Kalikanjung toll gate also saw a 60 percent increase in the volume of traffic from Monday to Tuesday, with 49,000 cars from the province and neighboring East Java making their way back to Jakarta.
The Transportation Ministry had estimated that the Idul Fitri return flow would peak on either Monday or Tuesday.
To prevent excessive congestion, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has asked nonessential employees, both in the public and private sectors, to extend their holidays until after Wednesday, which is expected to be the day most businesses resume their operations. (dre)