Over 50,000 People Flood Merak Port for Idul Fitri Exodus
Merak port in Banten, one of the main nodes of transportation during the mudik, or annual Idul Fitri holiday exodus, was flooded on Wednesday with droves of motorists waiting for ferries to Lampung in Sumatra.
Christine Hutabarat, the corporate secretary of state-owned ferry operator ASDP Indonesia, said that almost 55,000 people on their way to Bakauheni in Lampung packed the port in all manner of vehicles, including over 3,000 motorcycles, over 5,600 small and medium vehicles, 400 buses and 1,250 trucks waiting to board ferries to cross the Sunda Strait
“The total number of passengers was at 54,711 while vehicles totaled 10,748 units,” Christine said, adding that the number was recorded between 8 a.m. on Tuesday to 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
She said that at total of 28 ships made almost 100 trips. To smooth traffic, the company said they added ticket counters for passengers and for motorcycles. Christine said there were now nine ticket counters for passengers and 10 for motorcycles.
The company was also cutting loading and unloading time for each ferry to 40 minutes from the previous one hour. “Of course the smoothness of the journey will also hinge on the cooperation between the personnel on duty and the service users.
The vehicle management strategy implemented by personnel should be followed by the users, so that traffic flow can be smooth,” she said.