News Desk, Jakarta – Jakarta will see the peak of the return flow of people celebrating Idul Fitri on Tuesday, the end of the seven day holiday period, a senior minister has said.
Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said on Friday that Tuesday was predicted to see 203,000 vehicles entering the capital.
"We will have to anticipate the peak of return flow on Tuesday," Muhadjir said on Friday in Jakarta as quoted by Kompas.com.
The minister is calling on holidaymakers to avoid traveling on Tuesday. "It's better [for them] to extend their holiday, especially those who have no urgency to return to work," he said.
According to the Transportation Ministry, the peak of the counterflow will happen on Tuesday, the last day of the collective mandatory leave, which is expected to see 17.7 million people on the move.
State toll-road operators Jasa Marga previously predicted that 176,000 cars would pass through the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road on their way back to Jakarta on Tuesday.
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 to Cikampek from Monday to Friday, as well as from April 29 until May 1, the weekend following Idul Fitri.
Muhadjir reported that the mudik (exodus) traffic had gone well, especially on two crucial spots: the eastward toll roads and the Sumatra-Java ferry crossings.
Jasa Marga ended at midnight Thursday the one-way traffic system from Cikampek in West Java to Kalikangkung in Central Java on the trans-Java toll road.
The toll road stretch had been used as the main passage for people leaving Jakarta eastward to Central Java, Yogyakarta and East Java in the past few days.
During the one-way period from Tuesday to Friday, Jasa Marga recorded 9,439 vehicles passing every hour at the Cikampek Utama toll gate and 4,516 vehicles per hour at the Kalikangkung toll gate.
The Merak and Ciwandan ports in Banten, which ferry cars and motorcycles from Java to Sumatra, respectively, had seen a spike in the number of travelers.
The Ciwandan Port averaged around 800 to 1,200 motorcycles ferried per trip as of Wednesday morning, up from the 200 to 300 motorcycles averaged in the days prior. Merak Port, meanwhile, carried a total of 13,280 cars on Tuesday, up from the total of 10,650 cars ferried on Monday.
State-owned railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) also reported that long-distance trains heading out of the capital had reached an occupancy rate of 100 percent on Wednesday, as a total of 41,900 passengers traveled out of Jakarta's Pasar Senen and Gambir stations.
With no health restrictions in place, the government expects some 123 million Indonesians to perform mudik this year amid a slight increase in the country's COVID-19 cases. (dre)