KUALA LUMPUR: With many travellers choosing to balik kampung by train this Chinese New Year, tickets for the Electric Train Service (ETS) are already sold out.
In anticipation of the busy period, commuters also made their plans to be homeward-bound earlier to avoid jams and ensure safer travel.
Checks by The Star found that bus tickets are selling fast, too.
A Penang-bound student who gave her name only as Min, 22, said she felt it was “cheaper and safer” to travel by train.
“The service is good and the train travels at a safe and stable speed. If I take the bus, there will be a jam and the driver may speed,” she said.
Penangite Justin Yap bought his ETS tickets online in early January to avoid disappointment.
“It’s my second time going home by train. It’s faster than by car or bus as there’s no traffic jam,” said Yap, 27, a media freelancer.
Yap also liked the fact that his return tickets cost him only RM77, whereas a full tank of petrol would cost him about the same but only be enough for part of the journey.
When asked, a clerk at the KL Sentral ticketing office said ETS tickets for Feb 13-16 to all destinations were sold out.
Real estate negotiator Soo Wai, 31, bought her ticket to Ipoh, Perak, back in December.
“I’ve been taking the train for many years. It only takes two hours and 30 minutes,” she said.
Meanwhile, travellers who prefer to take the bus are bypassing the festive traffic by making their trips ahead of Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 16.
Retiree Tan Yok Kuan, 91, who was here to visit her daughter, is travelling a week earlier back to Segamat, Johor. “I’ve been taking the bus for years. It’s convenient and safe,” she said.
Student Nur Shamimi Sharatan Azlin, 19, also decided to travel a week earlier by bus to her hometown in Kelantan.
“The bus is safe for a lone traveller because you are with a lot of people,” she said.
Did you find this article insightful?