Singaporeans, Malaysians and Foreigners alike are crossing the borders of Singapore and Malaysia everyday of the year 24×7. There never comes a moment where footsteps does not echo through the immigration hallway. This seemingly comfortable and direct commute can take as short as 30min, but also escalate exponentially to more than 3 excruciating hours !
Fortunately, we do have various transport options to consider for commuting into Johor Bahru from Singapore. Let’s do an overview of every options on hand before we drill down into their respective pros and cons.
For the Northerners of Singapore, the oldest and most familiar trick on the book is to head to Kranji MRT and take SBS Transit 170X or Causeway Link CW1 (yellow bus). Both buses depart regularly and is a stone throw away from Woodlands Checkpoint (by car).
The other way is to head over to the opposite of Kranji MRT and hop on to SBS bus service 160 or 170.
My personal recommendation, choose the 1st option over the 2nd. The latter are not meant for the faint-hearted, as the situation can get rough at times.
Bus stops right in front of the MRT station and is the shortest distance to Woodlands Checkpoint, plus you have a total of 4 different bus services to choose from. If you are heading to Johor Bahru city, this is the place to start your journey.
For the newbies, it is a daunting tasks to find the queues (and at times, the lack of it) for the correct bus. The queues itself can get very lengthy during rush hour or on Friday & weekends. To add to the agony, you get loads of “queue-cutters” (especially for 170X) and sometimes it can get pushy when you board the bus
Frequency for SBS bus service 170
Frequency and fare table for Causeway Link bus service CW1
You can take SMRT bus service 950 to Woodlands Checkpoint directly, or alternatively SMRT bus service 911/912/913/903/856 to alight at the bus stop opposite Old Woodlands Interchange. From here, you can take a 10 minute walk to the Immigration Hall. This is especially useful on Friday evening.
Can bypass the traffic jam heading into the Immigration bus bay areas, from Kranji Road. Queuing up to board the bus is a much more orderly affair compared to Kranji.
Choosing over so many different bus services can sometimes be like trying to hit the jackpot. You either end up waiting indefinitely or get to board the bus within minutes, as their bus frequency is longer than 170X.
Jurong East Bus Interchange
If you happen to live around Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Batok or western part of Singapore, then Jurong East Interchange is to go-to place for your cross-border transport.
You can take SBS Transit service 160 to Woodlands Checkpoint or board Causeway Link CW3 to Tuas Checkpoint.
Bus frequency for 160
Frequency for Causeway Link bus service CW3
The Jurong East crowd are seemingly lesser than Woodlands and if you are looking to go Bukit Indah area in Nusajaya then this is for you. Traffic jam at the Immigration are usually manageable, unless its the beginning of a long holiday where many are heading north into Malaysia. Majority use Tuas Checkpoint as a gateway into Malaysia when they are north bound.
This is not for you, if you are looking to go shopping in Johor Bahru city as it is quite a distance from Bukit Indah. Avoid going via Tuas Checkpoint or long weekends or beginning of holidays.
Boon Lay MRT
Boon Lay residents or those working at Tuas can board Causeway Link CW6 at the bus stop outside Boon Lay MRT. This bus service goes via Tuas Checkpoint to Bukit Indah area too.
Similar to the ones I’ve highlighted for Jurong East
Similar to the ones I’ve highlighted for Jurong East
Queen Street Bus Terminal
From Bugis MRT station, follow the sign that leads you to Rochor Road. The unsheltered bus terminal will be after Rochor Centre and beside “Our Lady of Lourdes” Catholic Church. From the bus terminal, you can choose between Causeway Link CW2 or SJE (Singapore-Johor Express). Both will take the Woodlands Checkpoint route, heading into Malaysia and subsequently ending at Larkin Bus Station.
Direct service between Queen Street Bus Terminal and Woodlands Checkpoint. After passing the immigration hall, only SJE ticket holders will be allowed to board the bus, avoiding the need to queue with others. Since the journey from Queen St to Woodlands Checkpoint is about 30min, one can always take a short nap since everyone is guaranteed a seat. No standing in the bus is allowed.
Tickets holders for CW2 will need to rejoin the queue with the rest of the other CW bus ticket holders, after immigration clearance. SJE bus frequency can get seriously long at times, not recommended for late night trips.
KTM Tebrau Shuttle
You can board KTM Tebrau Shuttle before the sky-bridge leading into the Immigration Hall when you alight at the bus stop opposite Old Woodlands Interchange. To alight at the bus stop opposite Old Woodlands Interchange, you can take 911/912/913/903/856 (Woodlands MRT) or 170/178 (Kranji MRT).
Ticket price is SGD5 (Singapore – Johor Bahru) and RM5 (Johor Bahru – Singapore), and you can only buy a single trip ticket at the KTM counter. The return trip ticket has to be purchased at JB Sentral KTM counter.
Remember to check-in 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
KTM Tebrau Shuttle schedule
Fastest method to beat the traffic jam on the causeway, and a hassle free immigration clearance process. You can clear both Singapore and Malaysia immigration in the same building itself. You can even get wheelchair facilities for the elderly or physically challenged. Train usually sets off on schedule.
Expensive ticket at SGD5 for a 5-minute journey, and tickets can be hard to get especially during morning & evening rush hours. Limited timeslots and seating capacity.
Cross Border Private Taxi Service
You can pre-book a cross border taxi service from at least 12 hours in advance from Singapore to Johor Bahru (or any parts of Malaysia). Private taxi service company communicates via WhatsApp (+65-9769 2531), WeChat (okgojb), SMS (+65-9769 2531) or E-mail ([email protected]) for enquiries or request for quotes based on your itinerary. For instant booking, you can complete your taxi reservation online. They provide door-to-door service at your preferred time and allows customization of your travel plans.
Prices start from SGD70 for a 7-seater MPV
Door-to-door service at your preferred pick up time, and allows customization of travel plans. You no longer need to worry about traffic jam, or search your GPS for the destination. Passengers can also remain in the comfort of the car for immigration clearance (up to 10-seater mpv only). A hassle-free & convenient way for your next travel plan.
Pricier than conventional public transport
WhatsApp (+65) 9769 2531
Email [email protected]