Customers scrambling for JB-S'pore VTL bus tickets hit by cancellations, technical glitches

SINGAPORE – The scramble to secure bus tickets via the land vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia hit a snag on Wednesday (Jan 12), after some customers had their bookings cancelled.

This comes after Singapore bus operator Transtar Travel released tickets under the quarantine-free travel scheme on Wednesday for trips from Feb 10 to Feb 28 on its website and Shopee virtual store.

Since Dec 23 last year, it had been selling daily VTL tickets across the Causeway one day at a time. On Wednesday, however, it abruptly released tickets for a period of 19 days.

A Land Transport Authority spokesman told The Straits Times that the move to open up trips between Feb 10 and Feb 28 will enable people to better plan their travel and leave arrangements.

But some eager customers were plagued by cancellations soon after tickets were released.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday night, Transtar Travel said it had been alerted through customer service and social media that some orders were cancelled, despite customers checking out and entering their travel particulars within a 30-minute grace period.

It traced the issue with Shopee to an online form used to collect the particulars.

Transtar Travel said the large volume of submissions on Wednesday caused the form to freeze. That resulted in customers being unable to submit particulars, and orders with no particulars being automatically cancelled after 30 minutes.

While the form “gradually recovered from the surge of submissions”, some customers still had their bookings cancelled, it added.

It has temporarily frozen ticket sales on its Shopee store until a “reliable fix” can be found. The bus operator apologised, saying there was “no overselling” and affected customers will get a refund.

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While Transtar Travel’s Facebook post has since been removed, a notice on its Shopee store remains as at 2.40pm on Thursday. ST has contacted the bus operator and Shopee for comment.

Causeway Link and Transtar Travel are the only bus operators plying the route under the Malaysia-Singapore land VTL.


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