Lebaran mass migration begins

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The prevailing custom of Eid al-Fitr festivities, called Lebaran in Indonesia, is one of the largest temporary human migrations when workers return to their hometowns to celebrate with their families and relatives and seek forgiveness.

Such a mass exodus, or better known in Indonesia as “mudik,” is an annual tradition wherein people living in major cities, such as Greater Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and elsewhere, travel to their hometowns to meet their relatives and seek forgiveness from parents, in-laws, and other elders.

The flow of mudik for the 2018 Lebaran festivities had begun over the weekend and will continue until it reaches its peak, forecast next Thursday, or a day before the Lebaran day on Friday.

According to a forecast by the Transportation Ministry, the number of Lebaran holiday travelers, or pemudik, will increase by 27.77 percent to 12.24 million, while those traveling via means of public transportation will also increase by 5.17 percent to 19.5 million.

Since Saturday, airports, seaports, train stations, and bus terminals in major cities were reported to have been packed with tens of thousands of pemudik.

The flow of pemudik through the Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi over the weekend reached 42,954 passengers for both domestic and international arrivals and departures.

PT Angkasa Pura-I Public Relations official at the Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport Turah Ajiari remarked that the number of passengers will continue to increase until next Thursday.

In the meantime, PT Angkasa Pura II President Director Muhammad Awaluddin has forecast the homecoming flow of pemudik at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta to peak two days before the Lebaran day that will probably fall on June 15, 2018.

A passenger surge of 240 thousand to 250 thousand is forecast to occur on Wednesday until Thursday at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on all national and international flights.

The number will indicate an estimated increase by eight to nine percent in passengers as compared to the previous year.

The estimated surge in passengers is influenced by several factors, such as easy accessibility to air transportation with the growing availability of production equipment and transportation facilities coupled with an increase in the purchasing power of society.

“It is since employees of private companies begin their holidays on June 13, 2018, but now, it is getting better due to the smooth distribution,” Awaluddin explained.

Awaluddin remarked that two or three days before Eid al-Fitr, as the peak of the homecoming flow, the predicted surge in the number of passengers would reach 350 thousand at all airports managed by AP II, including Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

Until Saturday, more than 23 thousand sea freight travelers from various islands had disembarked at the Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, East Java, and the number will continue to increase in the days to come.

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi lauded the readiness of Tanjung Perak Port to serve the 2018 Lebaran holiday travelers at the passenger terminal.

Minister Sumadi then called on the port operators and captains of the ships to always pay attention to and prioritize the safety and comfort of passengers.

As in the previous years, the number of people to travel by means of air and sea transportation this year is forecast to increase significantly.

To ensure a pleasant journey home, the transportation minister has stated that security at all airports in Indonesia will be intensified following recent acts of terror in several areas.

In addition, Sumadi has inspected three facilities — Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten, Pulo Gebang bus terminal in East Jakarta, and Gambir train station in Central Jakarta — that might be overcrowded by passengers during the Lebaran homecoming this year to ensure that they are ready to accommodate and serve travelers.

Sumadi believes that the preparedness of public facilities is a key factor in ensuring a smooth homecoming trip.

These three locations will witness a significant increase in the number of passengers, so the facilities need to be prepared.

The governments decision to set additional collective leave for the 2018 Lebaran homecoming on June 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, and 20 is expected to affect the distribution of passengers.

The return flow of holidaymakers is expected to reach its peak on June 20 or June 24.

Some transportation firms have taken precautionary measures to handle the sharp rise in the number of passengers by increasing the frequency of their trips.

The Garuda Indonesia Group has prepared 150,510 seats on additional flights to handle the surge in the number of passengers during the Eid homecoming season, forecast from June 8 to June 24, on both domestic and international routes.

Of the total 768 additional flights, 480 flights will be served by Citilink and 288 flights by Garuda Indonesia.

The additional seats have increased 39 percent as compared to 107,750 extra seats during last year.

Hence, the government has provided means of public transportation to ease the flow of traffic for holiday travelers.

In Banyumas District, Central Java Province, the Type A Terminal of Bulupitu in Purwokerto is ready to serve travelers during the Lebaran holiday season.

Bulupitu Terminal Head Hadi Suharto stated that he had readied dozens of inter-city buses in the province and inter-provincial routes (AKAP) to serve travelers.

In addition, several tourism buses will be readied as a backup in the face of a likely surge in the number of passengers.

“Based on last years feedback experience, the number of AKAP buses (Jakarta destinations) departing from the Bulupitu Terminal reached 40 per day,” he stated.

Furthermore, he noted that all buses at the terminal, run by the Directorate General of Land Transportation of the Ministry of Transportation, routinely undergo physical inspection, and letters are issued daily before being sent to the destination city.

Source: ANTARA News