10 April 2019
In the holidays of Thingyan Festival, people who are currently working in Yangon usually go back to their hometowns, or some usually go a trip. Because of high demands at the particular time, it is difficult to buy the express tickets or the railway tickets. This year, like other previous years, a lot of people are struggling to get the tickets.
For those who want to go a trip, since there is variety of choices where to go, it will be a little bit relief. However, for people who want to go back to their hometowns, there is no choice but they have to struggle for the tickets. “Most of the express lines started selling the tickets for Thingyan travel at the last week of March. One or two sold in April. For those going back to home, the express tickets were sold out since the opening of the sales. Some people had to wait at the ticket counter at 3 a.m. in the early morning to get the ticket.”, said Ko Phyo Zaw, Sales and Marketing Manager of BNF online bus ticket sales.
Secretary of Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA), Dr. Maung Aung, mentioned how many express lines will be available during Thingyan period. “At Aungmingalar highway station, there are total 100 yangon-based lines on 8th April, 99 on 10th, 84 on 12th and 30 on 13th. There are total 8 lines of high way bus running without closing in the holidays of Thingyan. For Dagonayeyar Highway Station, there are total 34 lines on 12, 13, 14 April. There is one line running without holidays as Yagon-based.”
To help the passengers with the problem of not the getting the ticket, YRTA has planned to run their buses for the limited area. Dr. Maung Aung said, “At Aungmingalar Highway Station, if the tickets are not available at all, YRTA will arrange the bus for group of 25 passengers for the same way like Mandalay-Monewyar. In Dagonayar Highway Station, there will be 14 YBS buses per day running from Yangon within 100 miles like Pathein, Mawkyun or Hinthada.” Tickets can be bought at YRTA’s supervising office at the highway stations.
Along with the high demand of tickets, there comes another problem which is the higher price of tickets than normal. Ko Phyo Zaw explained why this problem of higher prices happens. “The express lines are selling the tickets with normal price. However, when the customers sell the tickets in relay, the tickets become more expensive. When the tickets are not available anywhere, some buy from unknown sources with higher price. But it is difficult to track the source market. Those who wait at 3 a.m. to buy the tickets may not be the actual passengers. They may buy the tickets to sell as a business.”
The passengers should avoid unknown market of bus tickets. For the licensed express line, they are under control of YRTA not to increase the price. “If you buy the tickets at the highway gates but they sell with higher price, you can complain YRTA. We have offices at the highway stations. You can inform us immediately. But if the tickets are sold without official organization but from an agent, it will not be under our control.”, said Dr. Maung Aung.
Ma Khine Yamin Kyaw, who is currently studying in Yangon, said she would go back to her hometown on 8th April. “I am going back to Mon state on 8th April. I tried to buy the ticket on the third week of March but the express I always take was not available since that time because of many demands. I had to find another lines and got the ticket at the beginning of April. The price is normal.”
Because of high demand in bus tickets, the passengers also take the railway transport. U Ko Ko Kyaw, Deputy Manager of Yangon Region Railway Transport said, “We sell the tickets for the upper class three days ahead. Except No.5 train from Yangon, we sell the tickets for normal class a day ahead. For the upper class, we started selling at 7 a.m. and most of the tickets are sold out at 8 or 9 a.m. Since the normal class tickets are sold a day ahead, it is still available. For the normal class of No.5 train form Yangon, the tickets are all sold out.”
Myanma Railway is to run the extra train during the Thingyan period. “We will run the Thingyan special train from 8th April leaving Yangon at 4 p.m. From 9 to 13 April, there will be dual railway both from Yangon and Mandalay. The price is the same as the other trains.”, he said.