‘Mudik’ season in full swing as millions of Indonesians head home

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post/AsiaNews Network): As the country’s biggest homecoming Muddik (Exodus) season in recent memory gets underway, public transport hubs and avenues across the country are being crowded by millions of people. The Indonesians rushed home.

On Wednesday (April 19), the start of the seven-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road, the main thoroughfare for cars leaving Jakarta heading east, saw heavy traffic.

West Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Ibrahim Tompo said that according to police monitoring at noon on Wednesday, there were 60 kilometers of cars lined up. Despite the implementation of the one-way toll road policy, the traffic flow has also increased dramatically from the Cikampek toll road all the way to the Kalikangkung toll gate in Central Java.

National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo said traffic at the Kalikangkung toll gate had nearly tripled by Tuesday night, as traffic was only expected to pick up around Idul Fitri.

Cars are the most popular choice for travelers this year, with some 27 million people preferring to return home by car, according to Department of Transportation estimates.

Police estimate that this year Moodyk’s traffic peak will occur on Wednesday, while the Ministry of Transport estimates the peak will occur on Friday, the eve of Eid al-Fitr.

With no health restrictions in place, the government expects some 123 million Indonesians to practice mudik this year as the country sees a slight increase in Covid-19 cases. To that end, President Joko Widodo said last week that while the rise in the number of cases is not alarming, the public should still get vaccinated and follow health protocols.

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