KTMB to revamp ticketing system by 3Q next year

On average, the railway operator sells about 12,000 tickets a day

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By BERNAMA

KERETAPI Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) said its ticketing system would be revamped by the third quarter (3Q) of next year to meet high demands following a glitch that left many users frustrated earlier this week.

CEO Datuk Kamarulzaman Zainal (picture) said immediate corrective measures have been taken to address issues of failure to sell the tickets, especially during the school holidays and major festivals.

KTMB, he said, had issued a letter of award to a company to work on the system revamp.

He, however, refused to divulge further details, only stating that the revamp works would begin soon and is to be concluded by 3Q next year.

On Monday, many commuters were left frustrated after failing to buy their tickets, as KTMB’s platform had exceeded its capacity.

The firm offered 1.2 million advance tickets for three months, from Dec 1, 2019 to Feb 29, 2020, for the commuters.

“Despite having prepared a week before, where this potential scenario had been analysed, the system still could not cope (with the demands),” Kamarulzaman said in a press conference in Kuala Lumpur (KL) yesterday.

“So we have made an immediate corrective measure by increasing the Internet bandwidth capacity from 100Mbps to 200Mbps, as well as upgrading the centralised processing unit of the ticketing database.”

He said on average, KTMB sells about 12,000 tickets a day, compared to almost 30,000 transactions it received on Monday.

“This has caused a serious congestion to the server which recorded up to 400,000 users online.

“On normal days, we only need two minutes to issue one ticket. However, yesterday it went up to almost 30 minutes,” he said.

Despite the delay, Kamarulzaman said a total of 57,441 tickets were sold on the same day.

Until yesterday afternoon, more than 77,000 tickets had already been transacted.

KTMB has also instructed a forensic audit to identify the root cause of the glitch, without discounting any elements of sabotage.

Kamarulzaman gave about two weeks to one month for the audit to be concluded.

On the company’s performance, Kamarulzaman said KTMB is drafting a 10-year plan to make the company continuously viable and sustainable.

According to him, this includes the strategy to negotiate with other railway operators and the Railway Assets Corp over the government’s vision to liberalise the country railway tracks.

As of now, he said some of the segment in KTMB’s portfolio is still profitable, such as the electric train service (ETS) from KL to Padang Besar.

“However, other services like cargo services, commuters and intercity ETS, some of them are not making money. So we need to identify the way forward with the 10-year plan,” Kamarulzaman said.