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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: Idul Fitri exodus will be dominated by private vehicles, ministry predicts

  • Riza Roidila Mufti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 16, 2020   /   05:38 pm
COVID-19: Idul Fitri exodus will be dominated by private vehicles, ministry predicts Exodus travelers line up to enter Cikampek toll gate in West Java two days after Idul Fitri in this file photo from June, 2019. (Antara/Rivan Awal Lingga)

The Transportation Ministry predicts that many more people will opt for private vehicles rather than mass transportation during the annual Idul Fitri exodus this year, if the COVID-19 situation is not brought under control by the time of the annual holiday.

Land Transportation Director General Budi Setyadi said in anticipation of this the ministry had identified several traffic points across Indonesia’s exodus routes that were prone to congestion. It is also working with the National Police traffic corps to implement various traffic scenarios, including contraflow and one-way systems on toll roads.

“If the coronavirus is widespread [during Idul Fitri], I think many people will use private vehicles. However, I hope that this will not happen as I hope the government has enough time for recovery [before Idul Fitri],” said Budi on Friday. “But if this doesn’t happen, there will be a trend of people using more private vehicles, and that is what we will anticipate.”

Read also: Train tickets for Idul Fitri to go on sale Feb. 14

Every year, millions of Indonesians make the annual exodus trip, known as mudik, from big cities where they work to their hometowns across Indonesia to celebrate the long Idul Fitri holidays with their families. This year, Idul Fitri is expected to fall on May 24 and 25.

In the 2019 exodus, 18.3 million passengers used mass transportation in the seven days before and after Idul Fitri. For this year’s exodus, the Transportation Ministry will continue organizing its annual free mudik program, preparing 1,317 buses to carry 59,265 passengers from Greater Jakarta to 37 destination cities across Indonesia.

“As of today, we have also instructed all stakeholders in land transportation to increase their anticipatory measures including cleaning ferries and having their passengers’ temperatures checked before boarding,” Budi said.

The ministry will also prepare 111 trucks to accommodate 4,995 motorcycles in the free mudik program. The program is designed to reduce the risk of people making long journeys on motorcycles.

If you want to help in the fight against COVID-19, we have compiled an up-to-date list of community initiatives designed to aid medical workers and low-income people in this article. Link: [UPDATED] Anti-COVID-19 initiatives: Helping Indonesia fight the outbreak