Archipelago

Transport networks ready
for holiday rush

Transportation services across Indonesia have been getting ready to meet the expected surge in passenger numbers over the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.

In Bandar Lampung, Lampung, the state-owned seaport operator PT ASDP Bakauheuni has prepared 26 ships to transport passengers on the Bakauheni—Merak route.

The company’s operations manager Heru Purwanto said the number of passengers had been on the rise since Saturday. “We expect to see the peak this weekend,” he said.

He added that some 100,000 vehicles were expected to cross the route during the end-of-year holidays, an increase from the approximately 80,000 vehicles last year.

Lampung Police Chief Brig. Gen. Heru Winarko said security in the Bakauheni Port would be tightened by raids for illegal possession of firearms.

In Semarang, Central Java, the state-owned railway company PT KAI Operational Region (Daop) IV has got ready for the Christmas and New Year celebrations by tightening security measures at hotspots such as stations, locations prone to stone throwing, natural disaster-prone areas and unguarded railway crossings.

The company’s public relations officer Surono said the measures involved 110 personnel from the police and 31 personnel from the military.

Surono said the company had prepared 65,000 tickets, some 70 percent of which had already been sold. Tickets for business and executive class are completely sold out for departures from Dec. 25 until Jan. 1, 2013.

In Denpasar, Bali, the Tourist Transportation Association (Pawiba) has prepared 1,000 buses to accommodate the increasing number of passengers traveling to Bali during the upcoming holidays.

Pawiba head Bagus Soediana said that holiday travelers were expected to cause an 80 percent increase in volume five days prior to and after the year-end holidays. “This is positive news for tourist transportation managements,” he said.

Some bus and travel companies have received large quantities of bookings in the last few weeks. Bagus said that tourists from Australia, Japan, China and European countries would likely dominate the market.

Separately, Purwanto, general manager of Perum Angkasa Pura I airport management company, said that Ngurah Rai airport was looking forward to welcoming 50,000 passengers a day during the holidays.

Meanwhile, in Yogyakarta, the Bantul Police are coordinating with a number of Muslim organizations for security measures for this year’s Christmas celebrations.

In Cirebon, West Java, thousands of members of the Ansor Youth Movement (GP Ansor), the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, are on standby to help safeguard Christmas celebrations in the town.

“Ansor is committed to maintaining the values of harmonious pluralism. Securing the Christmas celebrations is one of our ways of ensuring that these values are preserved in our diverse national mosaic,” GP Ansor’s organization and cadre division head H.M. Nurruzaman said.

(Oyos Saroso H.N., Ainur Rohmah, Slamet Susanto and Nana Rukmana contributed to this story from Bandar lampung, Semarang, Yogyakarta and Cirebon respectively.)

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