Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - The number of passengers using various modes of mass transportation has shown an upward trend after the lifting of RT-PCR or antigen test requirements for travel, the Ministry of Transportation has informed.

“The policy has only been running for four days. The exact figures are not yet available, but if we look at the condition at train stations and airports, there has been an increase in passenger volume," Transportation Ministry Spokesperson Adita Irawati said during a visit to Balai Yasa Yogyakarta on Saturday.

The Ministry of Transportation will continue to monitor passenger movement on mass transportation to determine the exact quantum of increase in passenger volumes.

"We will see how it develops in the next week," she said.

Even though travel regulations have been eased, passengers and transportation officers must continue to follow the health protocols during trips, Irawati added.

The government decided to ease travel regulations by taking several factors into account such as the vaccination achievement in Indonesia, which is already quite high, and the start of booster vaccinations.

In addition, it also judged that people are getting used to pandemic travel patterns, namely the observance of health protocols during trips.

The pattern of community movement since the relaxation of travel conditions will be the subject of a study conducted by the Ministry of Transportation to determine policies during the Eid al-Fitr homecoming period.

"Technically, in terms of transportation, we are always ready to welcome the Ramadan month and the Eid al-Fitr homecoming," Irawati said.

Regarding the policy on travel conditions during the Eid al-Fitr homecoming, she said that cross-sectoral discussions will be carried out with other ministries.

The Ministry of Transportation will also conduct a study to gauge the public's interest in going home for Eid al-Fitr, and take this into account while adjusting policies.

“For example, a number of infrastructures must be prepared regarding passenger capacity regulation. The decision will be made after our coordination meeting," she informed.

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Meanwhile, the public relations manager of PT KAI Operational Region 6 in Yogyakarta, Supriyanto, said that there has not been a significant increase in passenger volumes following the travel rule relaxation.

"There have not been any significant changes. There are still around 6 thousand–7 thousand passengers per day," he said.

Currently, antigen test services are still being run at a number of stations in Operational Region 6 for prospective passengers who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Such passengers are still required to show a negative RT-PCR or antigen test.

“At Yogyakarta Tugu Station, the antigen test service approximately serves 50 passengers per day. Before the travel regulation relaxation, it could serve up to 800 people per day or 1,500-1,800 passengers on the weekends," he informed.

Likewise, the Yogyakarta-Solo commuter line has not shown a significant increase in passenger volume even though the passenger capacity has been increased to 60 percent. The average number of passengers on the weekends on the commuter line is around 10 thousand to 12 thousand.

Related news: No plan to revise RT-PCR, antigen test prices: ministry

Translator: Eka Arifa R, Resinta S
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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