READY TO ASSIST:KTM has additional coaches to meet last-minute demand
MANY people thronged the KL Sentral station yesterday to buy tickets to head back to their hometowns.
KTM Intercity general manager Mohd Zain Mat Taha said about 86,000 seats had been allocated for the Electric-Train Service (ETS) and Intercity services from Aug 13 to 26.
He said they had sold about 72,000 seats and had additional coaches on standby to meet last-minute demand.
"People started booking their tickets last month. Tickets from Ipoh to KL and KL to Ipoh are sold out.
"We expect today to be the busiest day. As you can see, many people have arrived as early as 7am to get their tickets.
"We expect more people to arrive at noon and in the evening. Our counters will remain open throughout the Hari Raya holidays.
"Our staff will be able to assist passengers who are heading back to their hometowns. We will station our KTMB auxiliary policemen on all coaches to prevent untoward incidents."
Nor Azila Omar, 26, who had to wait for two hours to get a ticket to Kota Baru, Kelantan, said: "There's only one coach service for those heading back to Kelantan and it is only at night. But for other areas, they have services from morning until evening."
Saharuddin Omar, 44, said his wife had booked tickets in advance as they wanted to ensure that they would be able to celebrate Hari Raya with their relatives in Kuala Kangsar, Perak.
Over at the Pudu Sentral bus terminal, the situation was quite different.
There weren't many passengers and tickets were still available for those heading north.
A ticket seller, who only wanted to be known as Ali, said tickets to Kedah, Penang and Ipoh were available.
"We still have tickets for those who want to travel on Hari Raya eve. However, we can't guarantee that they won't be sold out before Hari Raya. So it is best to come and get the tickets fast," he said.
Ali added that the price of tickets had doubled.
"A one-way ticket to Penang usually costs around RM35, but now most operators are charging RM60," he said.