As the processing fee for Tiket.com didn’t make sense for me to pre-book my short-distance ticket on the KA Bima from Malang to Surabaya, I decided to get my ticket on the spot on the day of my departure after arriving from Jakarta.
However, do this only if you are 100% sure of what you’re doing.
Inside the station building, there’s a row of counters with one that has the queue.
Pick the one that says “GO SHOW” or “HARI INI”.
If you’re not queuing for immediate travel, take a number and fill up the booking form while you wait for your number to be called.
Looking at the seat availability screen above the counter, you can see how many 0s there are for most trains on the day of departure. However, these seats are referring to those vacant for the entire journey. Since the Bima would pick up lots of passengers from Surabaya Gubeng, leaving the sector between Malang and Surabaya Gubeng empty, I was confident that I would get my ticket.
For long-distance trains, you will get this blue slip which has the QR code and booking reference. This is NOT your ticket and NOT valid for travel, even if you get the actual old blue ticket.
You can, however, check-in immediately to retrieve your boarding pass. Just key in the booking code or scan the QR code on the reader on the left for the booking to be retrieved.
My boarding pass for the afternoon ride to Surabaya Gubeng.