Vehicles throng Merak Port piers to cross Sunda Strait

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Merak Port in Banten Province was crowded with private cars, trucks, and buses, two days before Christmas, Friday (December 23, 2022). ANTARA/Mansur

The Merak Port in Banten Province on Friday, two days before Christmas, was packed with several private vehicles, trucks, and buses, especially in the parking area.

Indonesian state-owned passenger ferry operator PT ASDP Commercial and Service Director M. Yusuf Hadi stated that the transportation flow at Merak Port peaked on Friday, with the number of vehicles reaching around 16,200.

However, he said that the number of vehicles, reaching 16,200, was still categorized as normal.

According to Hadi, Merak Port served the vehicles well, as the ASDP had implemented four schemes for the smooth flow of traffic.

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“I think the density at ports is normal in some countries, but now, (crowds at) Indonesian ports are relatively good, and there are no long queues,” Hadi stated.

Meanwhile, a private car driver, Sitohang, spoke of being trapped for two hours in the parking lot.

“We were trapped in the parking lot of Merak Port for two hours and could not go to Pier I,” he remarked.

He confirmed to the high density of vehicles, from the parking lot to the pier, while the journey from Jakarta to the Merak toll gate went smoothly.

“We hope to be able to cross to Bakauheni Port, Lampung, this afternoon,” Sitohang, who would drive to Medan, North Sumatra, stated.

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Another driver, Christine, said she and her family were stuck in traffic around the parking lot at Merak Port. Her journey from Bandung to the Merak toll gate went smoothly, but as of 12 p.m. local time, she was stuck at the parking lot and could not enter the ferry to Bakauheni Port.

“We have been stuck at Pier 2 for almost two hours,” Christine remarked.

Meanwhile, the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) has urged ferries crossing from Merak Port to Bakauheni Port in the northern Sunda Strait waters to be aware of high waves, with heights ranging from 1.25 to 2.50 meters.

Reporter: Mansyur S, Kenzu
Editor: Fardah Assegaf