Go back home safe; Indonesian holidaymakers told to return early to avoid congestion

Motorists are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on April 5, 2024 at Kilometer Marker 150 of the Cikopo-Palimanan (Cipali) toll road in Mekarjaya, West Java. -- Photo: Antara via The Jakarta Post/ANN

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post/ANN): On expectations that the mudik (exodus) return traffic to Greater Jakarta will peak on Sunday and Monday, the government is calling on road travelers to start heading back earlier.

“We advise people to start [their] return trips on Friday or Saturday, if possible. There will be a significant surge in traffic on Sunday and Monday, as [most] people will be returning to work on Tuesday,” Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi told a press conference in the capital.

Budi said that according to the data on Idul Fitri traffic last year, the area between Salatiga and Semarang in Central Java had a high potential for a bottleneck, as it was the meeting point of westbound traffic from East Java, Yogyakarta and Central Java.

To prevent congestion, the government is planning to implement several traffic management measures, such as a one-way policy, a counterflow system and odd-even license plate restrictions.

The minister also reminded travelers to use only roadworthy vehicles and drivers who were healthy, and to ensure that vehicles were not carrying passengers or cargo over their maximum capacity.

Twelve people were killed on Monday in a multi-vehicle crash involving a minibus, an SUV and a bus at Kilometer Marker (KM) 58 of the busy Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road in West Java. The accident occurred when the minibus was traveling down a temporary lane in a counterflow system.

The National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said on Thursday that an overworked driver and vehicle overloading were among the causes of the accident.

According to toll road operator PT Jasa Marga, return traffic to Greater Jakarta between April 16 and 18 is estimated to reach 1.87 million vehicles, marking a 1.4 per cent increase in total traffic volume compared to the equivalent period during Idul Fitri 2023, and 56.2 percent more than normal. - Jakarta Post/ANN

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