Jakarta. The government held a coordination meeting at the Ministry of Transportation's headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday (30/01), where officials announced that the Jakarta-Surabaya toll road will be completed and ready for use ahead of Idul Fitri this year.
The Jakarta-Surabaya toll road, part of the 1,167-kilometer TransJava toll road project, stretches over more than 900 kilometers from Jakarta to Surabaya, East Java.
Officials say only 400 kilometers more need to be completed before the road can begin servicing passengers.
During each year's Idul Fitri, Islam's holiest celebration, millions of city dwellers return to family homes across Java and beyond. Idul Fitri in Indonesia begins on June 14 and ends on June 16 this year.
"The most significant thing I can tell you is that the toll road from Jakarta to Surabaya will be completed [by June] and is expected to ease traffic during Lebaran. We promise that traffic at least will be better than last year's exodus," Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi told reporters, using a local term for Idul Fitri.
"However, in some areas like in Semarang [Central Java's capital], there will be parts that are not thoroughly completed, but it still can be passed on by cars," he added.
According to officials during the meeting, the government decided to coordinate the Lebaran Exodus early as it will coincide with gubernatorial elections in 171 regions.
Budi said that officials have also coordinated with district and regional police. "We ask the police to apply traffic engineering to give us space to finish infrastructure developments for the Lebaran Exodus," he said.
The Transportation Ministry will also attempt to reduce the number of motorcycles on the road during the exodus, which Budi believes will help reduce traffic congestion.
"We will provide ships to store motorcycles for people who travel back home for Lebaran, so it won't be spread over the roads. We also will provide 1,000 buses. These services are free of charge," said Budi Setiyadi, the ministry's director general for land transportation.