The government deemed this year’s arrangement of the homeward exodus for Eid al-Fitr (locally known as mudik) was better than last year. This was reflected in the statement of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Minister Wiranto. He said that the number of accidents and fatalities was lower than last year. The handling of traffic flow during exodus has been relatively good, but there was still a long congestion during the return period.
Until Monday (6/10) or five days after Eid (H+5), Wiranto said the number of traffic accidents during this year’s exodus was 529, declining from 1,491 accidents last year. The number of fatalities also dropped to 132 people from 331 people in the 2018 homeward exodus. “That has included the most severe incident in Lake Toba ,” Wiranto said.
Data from the Transportation Ministry’s Online Transportation Information System (Siasati) showed that until H+7 the number of motorcycle riders dropped by 9.7 percent compared to last year. Cumulatively, only 1.23 million motorcycles passed the exodus route.
The biggest number actually came from the number of private car users. Based on Siasati data, the number of four-wheeled vehicles used for the exodus reached 4.26 million, rising 22.5 percent from last year. The number of passengers on public transport, such as buses, also grew 10.7 percent to 3.89 million passengers from last year’s exodus.
“The decline in the number of travelers using motorcycles has a positive impact [reducing the number of accidents],” Head of the National Post for the 2019 Integrated Eid al-Fitr Transportation Imran Rasyid said. In 2018, there were 1,666 motorcycles that had an accident during the implementation of Ketupat Operation.
The points of congestion also began to disappear due to the operation of a number of toll roads. At the end of 2018, the government has officially operated the Trans Java toll road, which lies from Merak (Banten) to Probolinggo (East Java). In Sumatra, the toll road from Bakauheni (Lampung) to Palembang (South Sumatra) began to be used.
Based on the Google Maps app, the route from Surabaya to Jakarta which is 781 kilometers away can be reached in just nine hours 44 minutes. Meanwhile, the route from Yogyakarta to Jakarta, which is 562 kilometers away, only takes seven hours 43 minutes.
Signs of congestion were only seen around the Cikampek toll road, with the congestion duration slowing down the driver for only nine minutes. Two years ago, some travelers had to travel for 24 hours to their hometown, which is relatively close and still on Java Island.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said he was grateful that many travelers had told him that this year’s exodus was going well. The Jakarta-Surabaya toll road has made a major contribution in the exodus arrangement. However, he also admitted that the handling of traffic during the return period was not optimal. “We have to admit it and improve it. If there are shortcomings, we apologize,” he said in Jakarta, Wednesday (6/12).
Long Congestion during the Return Period
Unlike during the exodus period, people were having difficulties when they want to return to Jakarta. Yanto Kurniawan, an employee of a private company in Jakarta, admitted that this year’s exodus arrangement was good. Compared to previous years, he could return to his hometown faster. However, the same thing did not happen during the return period.
He did not think he could miss the first day of work after the Eid holiday. On Monday morning (6/10), he was still on his way to Jakarta. The return trip from his hometown in Semarang to Jakarta took 15 hours, even though his trip from Jakarta a week earlier was only eight hours. “It was a long congestion. I thought the travel time will be the same, so I departed from Semarang during the day (9/10),” he told katadata.co.id on Wednesday (6/13).
There was heavy traffic on the Trans Java Toll towards Jakarta since H+2 and even until H+5. The peak occurred on Sunday (10/9). Jasa Marga made a record for the highest services in history on June 9. A total of 166,574 vehicles passed the Trans Java Toll from the east to Jakarta. This number has almost tripled from the daily average of 67,345 vehicles. During last year’s return period, the highest figure was only 130,125 vehicles.