Sat, 15 Jan 2000

People begin pouring back into city

JAKARTA (JP): City residents began crowding railway stations and intercity bus terminals on Friday as they returned from their hometowns after the Idul Fitri holiday.

"There were more than 11,000 passengers who arrived at Pasar Senen Railway Station as of 8 p.m., and we expect to have more passengers later in the evening and early in the morning," said station chief Susmiarto.

The station itself, located in Central Jakarta, was quiet in the afternoon as most trains were scheduled to arrive later in the evening from Central and East Jakarta. There was still a significant number of departing passengers.

It was a similar scene at Gambir station, also in Central Jakarta.

A number of returning Idul Fitri travelers (in the picture) was seen lining up outside Gambir Railway Station shortly after departing from their trains.

The stations became busier in the evening with the arrival of the scheduled trains.

Meanwhile, an official at Kampung Rambutan Bus Terminal in East Jakarta, Rusito, said more than 25,000 passengers had arrived.

"The terminal is starting to be busy again but everything is under control," he said.

An official at the Pulogadung terminal, also in East Jakarta, reported the arrival of more than 38,000 passengers.

Separately, head of the City Public Land Transportation Agency, Buyung Atang, said 37 buses were caught for violating the government-set fare increase.

"The agency will consider a temporary license revocation, ranging from one month to six months," he said at City Hall.

The agency needed to collect additional data from officials assigned to monitor the buses upon their departure, he added.

"We will also request information from the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) on fare violations," Buyung said.

The number of returning residents is expected to peak on Saturday and Sunday.

Buyung estimated 150,000 people would arrive by bus over the weekend. (05)