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Chinese New Year Eve 2024 train tickets to Johor sell out in a day amid traveler rush

Malaysians in Singapore face a rush for train tickets to Johor Bahru ahead of Chinese New Year.

Tickets for the holiday’s eve sold out within a day of release, prompting resourceful travelers to consider alternative plans like driving back to Malaysia.



SINGAPORE: Malaysians living in Singapore who are eagerly planning to travel home for the upcoming Chinese New Year are currently facing significant challenges due to ticket shortages on the train route to Johor Bahru (JB).

A recent report by Shin Min Daily News on Wednesday (6 Sept) highlighted that tickets for Chinese New Year’s Eve were completely sold out within just one day of becoming available for purchase on 30 August.

The Malaysian rail corporation, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), had introduced the option for commuters to book train tickets six months in advance.

Sales open at noon every 30th of the month but start at 10 am for the Shuttle Tebrau, which connects Woodlands Train Checkpoint to JB Sentral in just five minutes.

Given that Chinese New Year falls on 10 February next year, the rush to secure tickets was immense.

Upon checking the KTMB official website, it was discovered that all tickets for both Chinese New Year’s Eve (9 February) and the day before were already completely sold out.

As of Friday (8 Sept), the only remaining available tickets are for the earliest train departing from Woodlands Train Checkpoint at 8:30 a.m. on 7 February.

It’s worth noting that tickets for at least 37 trains departing in the three days leading up to Chinese New Year have already been booked, amounting to an estimated 11,000 tickets in total.

There is also a noticeable surge in demand for return tickets to Singapore on 12 and 13 February, with only early morning departures before 8 a.m. still having availability.

Travelers get creative amid ticket shortage

Travellers are becoming resourceful, with some considering alternative travel plans, such as driving back to Malaysia.

One passenger, identified as Yan, successfully secured a ticket for Chinese New Year’s Eve and emphasized the convenience of the five-minute train journey to JB. She intends to use the ticket as a precautionary measure, with the option of obtaining a refund if it goes unused.

She stated that “the train takes only five minutes to reach JB, and I can save on the time that’s usually spent stuck in the Causeway jam.”

“I thought I’d buy a ticket on Chinese New Year’s Eve as a safety measure, if I don’t need it later on, I’ll get a refund,” Yan said.

Commuters are advised to be aware of the ticket refund policies, which offer a 75 per cent refund for cancellations made more than 72 hours before departure, and a 50 per cent refund for cancellations within 72 hours.

Fluctuations in ticket availability due to cancellations have been observed, with spare tickets quickly being snapped up by eager travellers.

One Malaysian finance professional working in Singapore expressed relief at securing a “leftover ticket,” citing concerns about congestion and delays at the checkpoint.

“I’m very afraid of the jam or the congestion at the checkpoint. Luckily I managed to buy one of these leftover tickets,” said the 29-year-old.

The high demand for train tickets during the Chinese New Year period has necessitated careful planning and early booking for those wishing to travel between Singapore and JB.

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