KUALA LUMPUR: Chaos reigned and tempers flared after Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) opened their counters and website for ticket purchases for the holiday season, from December 2019 to February 2020.
With the upcoming year-end school break, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year, many flocking to get a hold of KTM tickets were left frustrated.
KTM’s online ticket system experienced problems all of yesterday.
Khairul Annuor A. Halim, 57 who travelled all the way from Cyberjaya was at the KL Sentral KTM Station at 6.45am yesterday, to purchase tickets to Padang Besar.
He was issued queue number 84. He said the counters were open since 8.30am but at 2.30pm, only about 30 customers successfully got their tickets. He was still waiting.
“I was hoping to purchase tickets for myself and my parents because they wanted to experience the new ETS (electric train service).
“It has been a long time since I travelled with KTM but this may be the last time for me.
“If KTM can invest in expensive trains, they should also invest in a better system to accommodate the needs of the people. Maybe they can consider privatisation, ” he said.
A 67-year-old who wants to be known only as Yeoh arrived at KL Sentral at 7.45am and already, his queue number was over 200.
“Since morning, some of us were already advised to purchase our tickets online at the KTM Impiana room at KL Sentral.
“But until 12pm, only one person successfully purchased tickets using one of the computers in the room.
“At the counters, the queue number stopped at 15 for over an hour, ” he said.
Yeoh, who managed to speak to an IT technician who was present at the Impiana room said he and many others were told that there was nothing wrong with the network.
Yeoh suggested that KTM release tickets in stages.
“They could have released the tickets for December for two weeks, and then for January and so on.
“I am not even trying to get tickets for Chinese New Year. The management should really look into this, ” he said.
Yeoh and his wife were hoping to travel to Butterworth in December to attend a wedding. They left KL Sentral without purchasing tickets.
One of the few who successfully purchased his tickets after almost nine hours of waiting was Razali Taib, 46.
Razali and his 16-year-old son reached KL Sentral at 5.30am on Monday.
“When we got to KL Sentral, we saw more than 20 people already waiting to get a number.
“At about 6.30am, KTM staff started giving us queue numbers and told us to wait until 8.30am for the counters to open.
“My son and I only managed to purchase tickets to Padang Besar for our family at 2pm, ” he said.
Razali shares a similar view as Yeoh, saying that the release of tickets should be staggered.
KTMB head of corporate communications Ahmad Asri Khalbi said the firm apologised for the inconvenience.
He said as of 4.30pm, the team reduced delivery time at KTMB counters to about one and a half minutes (from the time a purchaser confirms details of tickets to their production). The team is still working to rectify the online system.
On Nov 14, KTMB announced the sale of tickets for ETS and KTM Intercity for the next three months.