Pantura highway quiet as motorists opt for new toll roads
The Jakarta Post
Java’s northern coast (Pantura) highway has been unusually quiet this Idul Fitri holiday period, with travelers choosing to use the newly opened toll roads to return to their hometowns for holiday festivities.
"The Java northern coast highway has been quite empty," Central Java police chief Insp. Gen. Condro Kirono said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com. "It's been quiet even though in some locations there are still markets and intersections."
Motorists typically pack the Pantura highway every Idul Fitri mudik (homebound exodus) season, but Condro said that people were opting for the Trans-Java toll road because it was smoother and faster.
"They're curious because besides the newly-operational toll roads, there are several segments that are opened specifically for mudik," he said. "Meanwhile on the Pantura highway there are a lot of intersections, markets and other things that could potentially hold up their journey."
Rozy Aldilasa, one of the travelers who chose to stick to the Pantura route, backed up Condro's observations.
Rozy left Cibubur, East Jakarta, with his wife and parents at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and reached his hometown of Pekalongan, Central Java, at 7 p.m. the same day.
"It took 10 hours and just one gas tank refill," he said. "Praise God, it was faster, because the roads were less crowded."
He said that two years ago the approximately 364 kilometer journey took 14 hours. (kmt/swd)
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