Since last weekend, the flow of private vehicles entering Bali has increased significantly. Most of them were domestic tourists from various cities in Java who have come to spend their Idul Fitri holidays in Bali.
As reported by Bali Post, last Sunday many cars from East Java—including Surabaya and Malang—passed through the security check posts, some of them actually trying to avoid the influx of people coming to their hometown for Lebaran. Security measures have also been tightened after the Lebaran weekend as 4,833 police officers have been deployed to anticipate the incoming traffic. A number of K-9 dogs are also on guard to clear luggage and packages.
Gilimanuk Police Chief, Anak Agung Gede Arka, said that the increase in armed officers was meant to secure the port during “arus balik”, or the time when people are driving back home. He added that over the course of the last weekend, the number of vehicles coming into Bali totaled 7994 units.
Meanwhile in terms of people going back home after Idul Fitri, according to Bisnis.com, as of today there are only a few cars and motorcycles crossing to Banyuwangi or Jembrana, occupying less than half of the capacity of the ferry (or around 40 vehicles). Previously it was reported that the incoming traffic will peak this Friday (30/06) and Saturday (01/07), and the General Manager for the sea transportation agency (PT ASDP), Elvy Yosa, said that her team is ready for the increased traffic, with measures including providing the bigger Portlink VII ship that can hold up to hundreds of motorcycles and cars in one go.
“We have prepared everything,” Yosa said. “From the personnel to the availability of the ferries.” And she remarked that unlike last year, the returning traffic will not be as dense judging from the shorter queue of vehicles seen at Gilimanuk Port, a result from more people driving cars rather than riding motorbikes.