Jakarta. Traffic on the three main toll roads leading out of the capital was expected to peak on Wednesday (13/06) as thousands of people travel to their hometowns for the Idul Fitri holiday, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said.
"We expect that there will be several points of traffic congestion, which may be concentrated on the Jakarta-Cikampek, Cikopo-Palimanan and Tangerang-Merak toll roads," Budi said, as quoted by BeritaSatu.com.
The Ministry of Transportation previously predicted that the initial peak in traffic would occur on June 8-9. According to state-owned toll road operator Jasa Marga, more than 360,000 vehicles left Jakarta via the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road between June 7 and June 10, Antara reported.
Jasa Marga estimates that around 1.42 million vehicles will leave Jakarta ahead of Idul Fitri.
Insp. Gen. Royke Lumowa, head of the National Police's traffic division, said on June 1 that there are 10 congestion points in Java that motorist must consider during the Idul Fitri exodus. Among those are the following:
Cikarang Main Toll Gate on the Jakarta-Cikampek Toll Road
The 73-kilometer toll road connects the capital with cities to the east and also with Bandung, West Java, via the separate Cipularang Toll Road. More than 700,000 cars are expected to pass through the Cikarang Main Toll Gate in the last eight days before Idul Fitri.
Palimanan Toll Gate on the Cikopo-Palimanan Toll Road
The Palimanan Toll Gate in Cirebon, West Java, is likely to again experience significant congestion this year with an estimated 46,000 vehicles expected to pass through it in the six days before Idul Fitri.
The 166-km toll road, which opened in 2011, is known as one of the country's most congested highways, especially ahead of Idul Fitri.
Kertasari Toll Gate on the Pejagan-Pemalang Toll Road
The newly opened Pejagan-Pemalang Toll Road, which connects Brebes and Pemalang in Central Java, was specially built to ease traffic during the annual Idul Fitri mass exodus. Vehicles traveling from Brebes to Pemalang were reportedly backed up for more than 1.5 km at the Kertasati Toll Gate in Tegal this week.
Kali Kuto Bridge on the Batang-Semarang Toll Road
This bridge on the Batang-Semarang Toll Road in East Java has been cited as a congestion-prone area due to the fact that it is still under construction.
State-controlled construction company Waskita Karya said work on the bridge has reached 90 percent completion and that efforts were underway to finalize it two days before Idul Fitri.
Manyaran Toll Gate on the Pemalang-Semarang Toll Road
The Manyaran Toll Gate in Semarang is expected to be one of the most congested areas during the Idul Fitri exodus.
Karangsawah Underpass in Brebes
Traffic congestion is also expected at the unfinished Karangsawah Underpass in Brebes on the road between Tegal and Purwokerto, Central Java. Although the project was scheduled for completion before Idul Fitri, it took longer than expected due to problems related to the acquisition of construction permits.
Malangbong-Limbangan Toll Road
The toll road that connects Malangbong and Limbangan in Garut district, West Java is also expected to be congested because it connects Jakarta and Bandung.
The National Police said it will prioritize security at the Kertasari Toll Gate, Kali Kuto Bridge and exit points in Krapyak in Semarang district and Salatiga.
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said integrated posts will be established in these areas in preparation for the possibility of heavy traffic congestion.
"We will set up health posts, mobile toilets, fueling points and also places to eat," Tito said.
Those heading to Semarang this year can use the Pejagan-Pemalang Toll Road via Kertasari, which was recently completed as part of efforts to avoid a repeat of the massive traffic congestion at the Brebes exit in 2016, which reportedly resulted in the deaths of 17 people.
The Transportation Ministry said it will establish a contraflow system or redirect traffic if heavy congestion occurs in the area.
This year also marks the first full implementation of an electronic payment system as part of the government's national cashless initiative and in an attempt to ease traffic congestion at toll gates.
However, motorists are encouraged to top up their payment cards before entering toll roads to prevent problems that will result in heavy traffic congestion. Toll fees can amount to a maximum total of Rp 344,000 ($24) on some routes.
The Transportation Ministry said return traffic is expected to peak between June 19 and June 24.