Bigger vessels to ply on Merak-Bakauheni crossing: Minister

Bigger vessels to ply on Merak-Bakauheni crossing: Minister

Transportation MInister Budi Karya Sumadi held a press conference on the preparedness of Merak-Bakauheni crossing after reviewing the Merak-Bakauheni Executive Terminal and attending the Eid al-Fitr 2019 coordination meeting in Merak, Banten on Saturday (11/5/2019). (ANTARA/Ahmad Wijaya)

Merak, Banten (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi confirmed that bigger and quicker vessels will replace the ships operating at the Merak-Bakauheni crossing to handle the flow of holidaymakers during the Eid al-Fitr 2019.

"We have taken this step as part of our efforts to prevent queues and long traffic jams of passengers and vehicles," Minister Sumadi informed the press at Merak on Saturday.

Sumadi made the statement after reviewing the Merak-Bakauheni Executive Terminal and attending the Eid 2019 coordination meeting. Minister of Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono, Director General of Land Transportation Budi Setiyadi, and President Director of PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry (Persero) Ira Puspadewi attended the event.

The minister explained that by increasing the capacity and speed of the vessels at the Merak-Bakauheni crossing, more number of passengers can be accommodated.

Another measure to be adopted to facilitate the return of homecoming flow is putting a halt to trucks from transporting essential items via the Merak-Bakauheni Port and directing them to dock at the Tanjung Priok Port.

"We also demand that crossing ships are equipped with sufficient safety jackets," he emphasized.

On the basis of the coordination meeting to discuss Eid 2019 preparations with several stakeholders, Transportation Minister Sumadi stated that this year's preparations were better than the previous year, particularly since this year's Executive Terminal was operational, thereby accommodating an increase in passengers and car space.

Sumadi affirmed that the government had made consistent efforts to ensure that preparations to handle the return flow of Eid travelers is better than in the previous years.

He confirmed that the government had continued to conduct comprehensive and better studies to prevent recurrence of severe congestion this year.

"The president has also instructed us to ensure that all preparations are optimal to ensure the homecoming season is a pleasant experience for the community, and everything goes smoothly," the minister stated.