The Jakarta Post
More motorcyclists will hit the road this Idul Fitri holiday, discouraged by a shortage of public transportation, says an expert.
Transportation expert Djoko Setijowarno of Soegijapranata Catholic University in Semarang, Central Java, said on Tuesday it was estimated that 6.39 million people would travel home by motorcycle during Idul Fitri.
During this holiday season, roughly 9.51 million holiday travelers would pass through Central Java on their way to their hometowns, according to the result of a coordination meeting held by the Central Java administration at the beginning of May.
This figure shows a 15.9 percent increase from 8.20 million motorcyclists recorded during Idul Fitri last year.
“This year, the government has provided free homebound travel services for 39,446 motorcycles via trucks, ships and Roll-on Roll-off (Roro) ferries. It increased by 106 percent from 19,148 during Idul Fitri last year,” said Djoko.
Unfortunately, free Idul Fitri ride services provided by the government for motorcyclists account for less than one percent of the total travelers. The biggest subsidy is for sea travel, which amounts to Rp 1.2 million (US$84.54) per motorcycle.
“It will be difficult for us to call on travelers, who are returning to their hometowns, to use public transportation instead of motorcycles. This is because public transportation in their hometowns is rare. Even if they can find it, many are far from roadworthy,” said Djoko.
“Don’t imagine that in their hometowns public transportation is similar to Jakarta’s, which has commuter trains and Transjakarta that is not only cheap, but also comfortable and air conditioned.” (hol/ebf)