Government to Investigate Ticketing System Along Laos-China Railway

Passengers complain of long queues for the ticket office at Vientiane Station
Passengers complain of long queues for the ticket office at Vientiane Station (Photo: Malisa)

The Prime Minister’s Office has ordered an investigation into ticket sales for the Laos-China Railway after receiving hundreds of complaints from the public.

Passengers using the Laos-China Railway have expressed their dissatisfaction with ticket sales systems, saying that ticket sales offices are slow and inconvenient, while brokers and scalpers are rife within the system.

Passengers have complained of long queues at ticket sales offices, sometimes stretching out into the streets, as well as inconvenient ticketing systems that do not allow for return trips.

According to a notice issued on Friday by the Head of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Khamchen Vongphosy, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport has been instructed to work with the railway company to resolve the ongoing problem.

Authorities are to find out if scalping is occurring and will punish offenders in accordance with the law, according to the notice.

The queue at the ticket office at Vientiane Railway Station at 4am.
Passengers queue for tickets as early as 4am.

Meanwhile, the government has advised the Laos-China Railway Company to improve its ticketing services to ensure Covid-19 measures are enforced while making sure customers are not inconvenienced.

Tickets for the Laos-China Railway are sold in cash exclusively at six railway stations located far from urban centers, while tickets can be purchased only one day in advance.

Return trips cannot be reserved under the current system.

Meanwhile, information on prices, schedules, and reservations are not available on the railway company’s website or Facebook page.