"Traffic congestion was there, but it was not severe. The Transportation Minister himself frequently went to the field to monitor the implementation of mudik this year," Ellen Sophie Wulan Tangkudung of the University of Indonesia (UI) said here, Tuesday.
The ministry has made good coordination with other stakeholders in the transportation sector in cities and villages, Tangkudung, who is concurrently chairperson of the Jakarta Urban Transportation Council, said.
"Excellent coordination during Ramadniya Operation 2017 has been able to respond to every problem quickly," she said, while thanking every personnel of the transportation ministry and related stakeholders as well as the media.
She believes that coordination is the key word for the smooth implementation of this years mudik.
She also lauded the Public Works and Public Housing Ministry, the Health Ministry, and the Police for actively supporting the Transportation Ministry in securing and managing the exodus.
The member of the Indonesian Transportation Community Honorary Council (MTI) suggested that next year the government should also give more attention to the implementation of mudik outside Java Island, such as in Sulawesi, Sumatra and Kalimantan.
"Our brothers and sisters outside Java should also be given attention," she said, adding that the government should provide more transportation means for those heading toward their hometowns via land, sea or air transportation modes.
Most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of celebrating Idul Fitri Islamic Holiday, or locally called Lebaran, in their hometowns with their families.
As a result, there is an exodus of travelers, particularly from cities to villages, during this time of the year.
The number of homebound travelers this year was estimated to reach over 19 million, up from 17,698,484 in 2016, and from 17,404,575 in 2015.
To ensure peoples safety during the exodus, more than 170 thousand police and military personnel were deployed for Ramdaniya Operation carried out from June 19 to July 4, 2017.(*)