Bus operators urge travellers not to buy S'pore-JB VTL tickets through third parties

A listing on Carousell reselling VTL bus tickets to Malaysia for $50. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CAROUSELL

SINGAPORE - The two bus operators plying the land vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia have urged travellers not to buy tickets through third parties, following the emergence of services offering to purchase tickets on travellers' behalf.

One listing on online marketplace Carousell is asking for $120 per ticket for a trip from Singapore to Malaysia, eight times the price one would pay if purchasing an adult ticket directly from operators.

Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported on Tuesday (Dec 28) that travellers were willing to pay inflated prices to get bus tickets as they were either not free to secure tickets at the time they go on sale, or found it a challenge to purchase the tickets on their own.

A service provider listed on Carousell requires a traveller to make payment and submit personal details before attempts to purchase tickets on the traveller's behalf will be made.  

Transtar Travel managing director Elson Yap urged customers to purchase their tickets only on the company's two official sales channels, its website and e-commerce platform Shopee.

He said it is not safe to disclose personal details to third parties. Such details, including passport numbers and date of birth of travellers, are required when purchasing the tickets.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Causeway Link said the company has tried to track down people who have posted on social media platforms that they are offering the service of purchasing tickets to stop them from doing so.

She added that such services emerged when VTL bus tickets first went on sale and operators' websites received overwhelming traffic. Some used the situation as an opportunity to profit by purchasing tickets on behalf of travellers who were unable to do so.

Tickets purchased from both operators are non-transferable, preventing scalpers from buying tickets in bulk and selling them at inflated prices.

Causeway Link said in a Facebook post on Dec 18 that it was aware of tickets being sold on channels other than its website - the only place through which it sells VTL tickets.

"Please be advised that Causeway Link Management has the right to invalidate any unauthorised sold tickets outside our official service provider," it said on the post.

While Causeway Link has sold all its tickets for January - when many Malaysians are expected to head home ahead of Chinese New Year which begins on Feb 1 - Transtar Travel is still selling tickets for one particular day of travel every day. Tickets for travel on Jan 27 will go on sale on Wednesday (Dec 29).

Singapore on Dec 22 suspended the sale of new VTL tickets for travel into the Republic or Malaysia until Jan 20, in view of the increase in Covid-19 Omicron variant cases globally. However, tickets for travel from Jan 21 onwards may still be sold.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.