Long queues were seen at TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan), the main bus terminal in KL on 11 December with large crowds of passengers waiting to purchase and print out their tickets. Apparently, only two counters were open to cater to the high volume of travellers during the weekend, even causing many people to miss out on their buses.

Twitter user @BurhanPlays shared his experience and images from the incident, as he bemoaned the inefficient system of the terminal that forced passengers to print their physical tickets at the station itself despite the fact that the tickets were purchased online. According to other Twitter users, those who have purchased tickets through the official TBS application do not have to print out their tickets, but many users are unaware of this fact.

He elaborated that he had arrived an hour earlier, but 15 minutes before he was due to board his bus, the queue was so long that he could not even see the counter. He shared images showing many people waiting to buy or print their tickets, as only two out of seven counters were open despite it being a peak period during a weekend.

Burhan ended up missing his bus, and upon chatting with two people queuing in front of him and one behind him, he found out that the same situation had happened to them. He expressed pity for the strangers, saying that they were now faced with a problem due to a lack of funds and time.

Not only were the queues long, but it also appeared that there was no management in place as there were six disorderly lines formed leading up to the two counters.

Another Twitter user shared that if you somehow managed to procure your ticket, you had to face disgruntled staff in the waiting area, with malfunctional TV screens.

After the incident, TBS uploaded an apology to its social media page, explaining that the operations sector was faced with constraints as they were short-staffed due to several workers being on emergency medical leave due to the recent change in weather. They also mentioned that steps had been taken by the operations sector to summon the workers on leave back to work, to guide passengers using self-service ticket machines, and to guide passengers to making ticket purchases through the TBS-BTS smartphone application without having to queue up to print their boarding passes.

However, this situation is nothing new –– the terminal is frequently swarmed with people, especially during festive seasons. This writer personally recalls travelling frequently from KL to Penang back in 2018 and long lines were a common sight –– not to mention the fact that buses were often delayed by one or two hours at the least. Last month, it was reported that the day before polling day, travellers had to sit on the floor due to a lack of seats.

Facilities at the terminal have also posed a problem for travellers, especially as many come loaded down with heavy luggage as it was reported back in April that an escalator had been out of order for nearly two years.

Minister of Transport, Anthony Loke has addressed the issue on his social media page after receiving multiple complaints online from citizens. He shared that he had personally taken the KTM Komuter from KL Sentral to Bandar Tasik Selatan, which is linked to TBS with two of his assistants. He mentioned that he will be meeting with the management of TBS to discuss the solution to handle the high volume of passengers during weekends and festive seasons.

Note: special thanks to our reader Sadaf for bringing this matter to our attention.

Image credit: facebook.com/lokesiewfook, @burhanplays