As anybody who have lived through Ramadan in Jakarta in previous years can attest, the Islamic holy fasting month usually brings even more vehicles onto the roads than usual, particularly in the afternoons, with many clamoring to get home or to a restaurant in time for iftar (breaking of the fast) at sunset.
The Jakarta Metro Police Traffic Department expects that this Ramadan will be no different, announcing today that they are increasing the number of on field traffic police officers who will be tasked with anticipating macet and directing traffic to alleviate them by 20%.
However, the police believe it’s likely that increased road congestion won’t happen until the second week of Ramadan.
“We have outlined [our predictions] week-by-week. For the first week of Ramadan, we predict roads won’t be too congested because most people will break their fast at home, have sahur (early morning meal) at home, and have taraweh prayer (optional evening prayer) at home,” said Jakarta Metro Police Traffic Director Grand Commissioner Yusuf, as quoted by Kompas today.
Yusuf said that starting on the second week of Ramadan, Jakarta’s roads will likely get busier than usual.
“That’s because in the subsequent weeks there are many who hold fast breaking events together,” he said.
Nearing the end of Ramadan, Yusuf said the police are going to concentrate their efforts on securing train stations, bus terminals, and airports as Jakartans start to go on their mudik (homecoming) exodus for the Idul Fitri holiday (June 11-20).
And, as anybody who has ever decided to stay behind in the capital during the Idul Fitri holiday period in previous years can attest, Jakarta’s roads are practically empty around this time making it a perfect opportunity to explore the mega city.