Some 2.5 mln Eid travelers expected to use train

Some 2.5 mln Eid travelers expected to use train

Photo document of e-ticketing by PT Kereta Api Indonesia. (ANTARA/Puspa Perwitasari)

... I would say it is now ready because Lebaran transportation is an annual affair."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - State-owned railway company PT KAI has forecast that about 2.5 million passengers will use train when they go hometowns to observe the post-fasting month Eid Fitr holiday or Lebaran festivities next month.

Indonesian Muslims will commence the fasting month on June 18 next week and end it on July 17, 2015. Like in previous years, the exodus of Lebaran travelers usually takes place seven days before (D-7) and seven days after (D+7) D-Day.

The railway company has prepared trains and sold adequate train tickets. "There are still a lot of tickets available for Lebaran travelers, as long as not all possible passengers choose to depart a day or two days before D-Day. The tickets for these days must have been sold out because travelers hunt for them," KAI President Director Edi Sukmoro said.

According to the KAI president director, of an estimated 20 million Eid Fitr travelers this year, about 2.5 million are expected to use the train mode of transportation.

"There will be some 2.4 to 2.5 million passengers," he stated in Semarang, Central Java, on Tuesday. He said that the train passengers will travel during the Lebaran holidays this year, ten days before (D-10) and ten days after (D+10) D-Day.

In the face of the increasing number of passengers during the Lebaran exodus, the Directorate General of Railway of the Ministry of Transportation has prepared trains which among others consist of 410 ready-to-operate locomotives (386 chains of coaches and 24 reserves) and 1,637 ready-to-operate trains (1,523 chains of coaches and 114 reserves).

"We ask all KAIs Regional Operation Offices (DAOPs) to declare their respective readiness, including in safety standards of operations. Ensuring safety must be prioritized so travelers feel secure till they reach their destinations," Sukmoro remarked.

In the meantime, PT KAI office for Regional Operation I (DAOP I/Jakarta) is preparing 44,904 train seats per day for passengers traveling for both short and long distance destinations.

KAI Corporate Communications Manager of DAOP I Bambang S Prayitno said that passengers will use regular and additional trains. Regular trains will have 61 departures with 29,756 seats. Besides, KAI DAOP I will also have 13 additional trains with a 15,148 seat capacity.

For the July 10 to July 16, 2015 or D-7 to D-1 departures, ticket sale has been opened since April 11 and for the D+2 to D+8 return flows, the ticket sale has been opened since April 8, 2015.

"This means that KAI DAOP I will transport 44,904 passengers per day during the Lebaran season this year," Prayitno said.

In principle, the state-owned railway company has given its assurance that it is prepared to transport passengers who will travel to celebrate the Lebaran festivities in their hometowns after the fasting month, President Director of KAI Edi Sukmoro said.

"If you ask about KAIs preparedness to cater to passengers, I would say it is now ready because Lebaran transportation is an annual affair," Sukmoro stated here on Tuesday.

The KAI president director and Director General of Railway Services Hermanto Dwiatmoko were inspecting the Tawang Railway Station in Central Java as part of their field checks on railway tracks and stations along the Semarang-Jakarta route.

He added that his side was checking preparations of regional KAI operation areas (DAIOs) in the face of the Lebaran exodus. These checks were on security and safety standards.

They checked their preparedness to see whether there were shortcomings that should be overcome and be coordinated with relevant units. "We will ensure that KAIs Lebaran transport services are successful in delivering passengers to and from cities," Sukmoro affirmed.

Moreover, Director General of Railway Affairs Hermanto Dwiatmoko has earlier urged the KAI to increase supervision, particularly in risky lanes, including at crossings that have no rail gate bars.

"We asked KAI to prepare for everything that could possibly be needed---emergency railway sleepers in certain places, for instance---so undesired occurrences, such as landslides, can be handled posthaste," the director general said.

Director General Dwiatmoko emphasized that railway crossings which are not equipped with gate bars, including illegal railway gates, would be handled in stages. "In Indonesia there are about 8,000 to 9,000 railway crossings. We cannot count the illegal ones so that we could not reveal the figure," the director general said.

Dwiatmoko explained that it is not easy to close illegal railway crossings because it needs coordination with various related parties, including the regional governments.

But he called on all heads of KAI DAOPs to conduct a study on the number of illegal crossings and work out a five year plan together with the regional governments.

The handling of illegal railway crossings is vitally important as it concerns passengers and other peoples safety.

Regarding passengers security, KAI President Director Edi Sukmoro has asked the assistance of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI).

In a meeting with the TNI Chief, Gen. Moeldoko, early this month, Sukmoro asked the assistance of the TNI to help pacify the flow of Lebaran travelers using trains.

The TNI commander promised to provide assistance for the Lebaran travelers using the train transportation means.