Pertamina to offer free rides to 15 thousand homebound travelers

Pertamina to offer free rides to 15 thousand homebound travelers

State-owned oil company PT Pertamina deployed 79 buses carrying homebound travelers at the TMII area, Jakarta on Wednesday (29/5/2019). ANTARA/Afut Syafril

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Some 15 thousand homebound travelers will be able to avail free rides organized by state-owned oil company PT Pertamina for the Eid al-Fitr Islamic holidays this year.

"Today, 79 buses are deployed in phases, and nine buses from Pekanbaru," Human Resources Director of Pertamina Kushartanto remarked while seeing off buses carrying homebound travelers at the TMII area here on Wednesday.

The buses are destined for Palembang, South Sumatra, and Surabaya, East Java, among others.

Moreover, Pertamina is offering free train and ship rides for employees and their relatives as well as others.

The number of people availing the free rides offered by Pertamina and its subsidiary has risen to 40 percent this year.

Indonesian Muslims, constituting more than 85 percent of the country's 260 million population, began observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan on May 6, 2019. They will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr Islamic festivities when the fasting month ends on June 5 or 6.

Most Indonesian Muslims follow the tradition of celebrating Eid al-Fitr in their hometowns along with their relatives. As a result, there is an influx of travelers, especially from cities to villages, during this time of the year.

The government has forecast that this year, over 22.83 million Eid al-Fitr holidaymakers will opt for means of public transportation, a four-percent rise than that recorded last year.

Of the total people travelling, 2.4 million will opt for travelling by train, 1.4 million by plane, 4.3 million by private cars, and 940 thousand by motorcycle.

Over the period of the past few years, the government has appealed to homebound travelers to not travel by motorcycles on their lengthy journeys home owing to the susceptibility to traffic accidents.

To this end, several state-owned firms have organized free rides for motorcyclists heading home for the holidays annually.

Moreover, private firms have been urged to provide free bus service to transport their low-income employees to visit their hometowns.

This year's homecoming travel, locally termed as mudik, is themed "Safe and Harmonious Homecoming Traveling" in line with President Joko Widodo's instructions.