Balik kampung crowds in rush for tickets (Poll Inside)

The rush has begun: Those hoping to get bus tickets for the Raya festival seen lining up at the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, Kuala Lumpur. — MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: With the Hari Raya holidays less than a month away, Malaysians are in a rush to get their hands on bus tickets.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia student Nurul Asma Ul Husna, 22, said she was shocked at how fast the bus tickets to her hometown in Kedah were sold out at almost every bus terminal that she checked.

She has to resort to looking for her ticket online.

“Initially, I thought of taking the train but quickly realised that the seats were already fully booked. As I tried to figure how to return this Raya, I started panicking.

“I checked the various bus terminals in Negri Sembilan where my university is at but I couldn’t find a single ticket.

“Thankfully, I was finally able to find a ticket online through the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan’s (TBS) app with my friends’ help,” said Nurul Asma, who is currently living on campus.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Pusat Kesatria trainee Saiful Che Hin, 23, said he bought his bus ticket to his hometown in Kedah in early February.

“From my experience, most bus tickets for the day before or on Raya itself would sell out months before.

“So, this year, I chose to buy a bus ticket almost a week before Raya as it would be easier to get. Hopefully, the bus will not get stuck in the annual heavy traffic,” said Saiful.

Construction worker Mohammad Al Hakim, 22, is desperate for a bus ticket for his fiance to return to her hometown in Kelantan.

“I have been searching for tickets at various bus terminals as well as online in the past week. But there is none which has us really worried.

“I’m hoping I can find one in TBS or we’ll have to start thinking about other more expensive options,” he said, adding that his current plan was to travel back to his hometown in Kedah on his motorbike.

Pan Malaysia Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said a number of bus companies had already reached their maximum capacity, adding that much of the demand was for the northern and east coast states.

“Two weeks ago, some bus companies have told me that they were either nearly or completely booked for Raya.

“A number of them are considering deploying more buses but this is currently not guaranteed due to a shortage of bus drivers,” he said.

Meanwhile, AirAsia Malaysia CEO Riad Asmat said around 65% of 11,400 extra seats at fixed low fares between April 19 and 22 had already been sold.

“Fixed low fare flights for Kuala Lumpur-Tawau, Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur-Kuching have already seen 100% bookings as of March 29.

“Other destinations are expected to follow suit,” he said.

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Hari Raya , holidays , bus tickets


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