Need A Quick Escape To Johor? Here's How You Can Get To JB Fast!

By Aida Othman | 25, Jul, 2018
Need A Quick Escape To Johor? Here's How You Can Get To JB Fast!

Living on a tiny island of Singapore means we always like to get around to see other places. Getting out to Johor Bahru (famously known as JB) is the only one location frequently visited by the resident of this island for many obvious reasons - whether for a quick outing, day trip, weekend getaway or an entry point to Malaysia's long vacation. Johor Bahru is the capital of Malaysia's state of Johor situated just across the Straits of Johor on the southern tip of Malaysian Peninsular.

Picture Credit: chuttersnap on Unsplash

If you are planning a visit using public transportation other than self-driving, there's more than one way to get there depending on your circumstances and factors to take into consideration - price, time, flexibility, regularity of service. It’s also important to weigh your option depending on your location in Singapore and the destination you want to go to Johor Bahru.

Crossing from Singapore, there are 2 border or immigration checkpoints:

  • Causeway in Woodland, Singapore which serves a road and rail link to Sultan Iskandar CIQ (JB CIQ) or JB Sentral in Johor Bahru.
  • Second Link in Tuas, Singapore which leads to Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ or Second Link in Gelang Patah, in Johor Bahru.

So, how to travel from Singapore to Johor Bahru? This article gives you the lowdown of modes of transportation options from Singapore to Johor Bahru, including highlighting the advantages, disadvantages, and tips for you to consider on each travel option.

1. Train (From Woodlands Train Station to JB Sentral)

Picture Credit: KTM Berhad Facebook

One of popular way is taking the train - thanks to KTM, the Malaysian train operator. You can get the ticket online at Easybook (link below) or buy from the counter at Woodlands Train Station. More train services have been added and they are more frequent based on the new timetable. From Woodlands, you can travel as early as 7:19 am till the last train at 11:30 pm, and from JB Sentral from 5 am till 10:30 pm – both ways train departs every 1 to 1.5 hour. The Woodlands Train Checkpoint is served by public buses from/to Kranji MRT Station, Marsiling MRT Station, Bukit Panjang MRT and Woodlands MRT Station.

Advantages

  1. Fastest way: 5 minutes of travel time.
  2. Avoid long waiting queue before boarding like long bus queue.
  3. Closer to City Square Mall than taking a bus.
  4. Usually more reliable departure time.
  5. Cheap and comfortable.
  6. Confirm seat if you book online in advance (you can book 30 days in advance).
  7. Children less than 4 years old, can travel for free of charge.

Disadvantages

  1. Need to book advance at least 4 hours prior to travel time.
  2. Popular timing (like early morning weekdays for regular commuters) or weekend always sold quickly.

Recommended For: Traveller with time pressure or urgency

Price Range: $

  • Buy at Woodlands Train Station: Depart fate SG $5. Return fare RM 5.
  • Buy at JB Sentral: Depart fare RM 5. Return fare SG $5.
  • Buy online: Depart fare SG $5 and return fare SG $1.84 plus Admin Fee SG $1.34

KTM Intercity
Phone: 1-300-88-KTMB(5862)
E-mail: callcenter@ktmb.com.my
Websitewww.ktmb.com.my
               www.easybook.com 
               www.busonlineticket.com 

2. Public Bus

Picture Credit: Causeway Link Facebook

There are many options to choose from (especially via Causeway) such as Causeway Link Bus (CW), SBS Transit Bus, Singapore-Johor Express (SJE), and SMRT Bus. Do note that Causeway Link offers greater flexibility in ways that passengers able to board any Causeway Link bus across the causeway after clearing immigration. Do also note that there seem to be more CW buses than SBS buses.

Via CIQ Second Link

As below, there is 2 bus pick up points in Singapore to reach your preferred destinations near CIQ Second Link mostly served by Causeway Link Bus.

  • Boon Lay MRT is serving bus CW 6 (to Bukit Indah/ Giant at Taman Nusa Bestari): SG $4
  • Jurong East Interchange (at Berth B1) is serving:
  • CW3 (to Bukit Indah/ Perling Mall): SG $4
  • CW4 (to Gelang Patah/Pontian):SG $4 + RM 4.20
  • CW4S (to Gelang Patah/Sutera Mall): SG $4 or SG $4+RM4.80 for Sunday

Once you reach CIQ Second Link after passing through immigration, there are several options of buses to queue depending on your specific destination to go other than destinations mention above. For examples:

  • CW7L (to Mall of Medini/Legoland): SG $4
  • JPO2 (to Johor Premium Outlet/ Senai Airport)

Via Causeway

As below you’ll find a lot more options, some with similar routes. For example, comparing CW2 and 170, the latter has more stops and therefore travel time is a bit longer. Comparing CW1 and 170X, while the latter has more stops, it’s considered as a transfer if you take the MRT (transfer must be done within 45 minutes) and you’ll get discount on overall transport fares. Only board SJE if you must as the route is longer than CW1 and 170X, plus the bus is not very frequent like the rest.

1. The Causeway Link operates the following route:

  • From Kranji MRT to Larkin Bus Terminal (CW1): SG $1.50 (RM 1.90 return)
  • From Queens Street Bus Terminal to Larkin Bus Terminal (CW2): SG $3.50 (RM 3.40 return)
  • From Newton Circus to JB CIQ (CW5): SG $3.30 (RM 3.40 return)

2. SBS Transit Bus

There are 3 pick-up points:

  • From Kranji MRT to JB Sentral (170X): SG $2 (SG $1.37 on Ezlink)
  • From Queens Street Bus Terminal to Larkin Bus Terminal (170): SG $2.50 (SG $1.96 on Ezlink)
  • From Jurong East Interchange to JB Sentral (160): SG $2.50 (SG $1.83 on Ezlink)

3. SMRT Bus 950

From Woodlands Bus Interchange to JB Sentral SG $2.20 (SG $1.41 on Ezlink). In case of a long queue, alternatively, you can opt for bus 856 which bring you close enough for a bit of walk to Woodlands Train Station.

4. Singapore-Johor Express (SJE)

From Queen Street to Larkin Bus Terminal: SG $3.30 (return RM 3.40)

Advantages

  1. The cheapest fare.
  2. The buses connect directly to shopping malls and tourist destination such as those serviced via Second Link.

Disadvantages

  1. Time-consuming as you have to wait in long queues for buses (holding your ticket of course!) at both immigration.
  2. While the buses may be frequent, they may not be regularly available due to a traffic jam.
  3. SBS usually add more travel time since it stops to pick up other non-JB passengers.
  4. You have to board twice to clear immigration including carrying your bag and belongings.
  5. Inconvenient and stressful for the elderly.
  6. Getting back into Singapore, take note that service is not available after 1 am – last SBS bus is available just after half midnight from JB.
  7. CW bus is not operational after 11.30 pm.

Recommended For: Budget-conscious traveler. Family with big children. Healthy and fit individuals. Travelers with less luggage.

Price Range: $

As per above, it ranges from SG $2 to SG $4. Cheaper if you use Ezlink card for traveling with SBS and SMRT. For return fare via CW and SJE buses, the fare will be charged in RM.

Causeway Link: www.causewaylink.com.my/singapore-bus
SBS Transit Bus: www.sbstransit.com.sg/transport
Land Transport Guru: www.landtransportguru.net
For booking: Easybook www.easybook.com 
Bus Online Ticket: www.busonlineticket.com

3. Shuttle Bus

Picture Credit: Transtar Travel Facebook

  • Transtar: You can travel to JB CIQ from Changi Airport (TS1), Marina Square (TS3), and Resort World Sentosa (TS8). Transtar also offers service from Buona Vista to Gelang Patah Sentral (TS6). Fare range from SG $5 to SG $10.
  • Advance Coach Bus (AC7) from Yishun Bus Interchanged to JB Sentral: SG $2.50 (Ezlink SG $2.20). Return RM 3
  • If you are interested in specific tourist attractions for a day trip such as Hello Kitty Town or Legoland, there are few coach bus transfer from Singapore such as Superior Coach & Tour, Starmart Express, or WTS Travel. Choose from convenient departure points in Singapore which close to public transportation and you can do online booking at Easy Book. Fare usually range from SG $10 to SG $13.     

Advantages

  1. Convenient pick-up points.
  2. Less queue after immigrations when boarding for bus compared to public buses.
  3. For tourist destination bus, you’ll be served in comfortable coaches and may get a briefing from the guide.

Disadvantages

  1. Same as public buses – still have to board the bus twice at both immigration.
  2. A little bit expensive than public bus fare.
  3. Need to check timetable as bus may not be as frequent – every 30 minutes to an hour for example with Transtar.

Suitable For: You can take advantage of this option if you are closer to the pick-up points.

Price Range: $$

Transtar: www.transtar.travel/cross-border-services

4. Private Car or Limousine

Looking for a cheap private car to go to JB? There are plenty of private companies offering this service, so you can be a little spoil with the comfort and convenience you can get from this option. Not to mention, you can pick your choice of vehicle, its size, and variety of locations as a drop point. You also have options to hire vehicle for a full day plus private driver. Just ensure to shop around for best, competitive price and reliable service provider before you book online or ask recommendation from friends. A good driver will choose the best route to cross the strait by checking the traffic or live camera app.

Advantages

A convenient door to door service in a well-maintained vehicle. Pick up at preferred time and location. No need to get off from the vehicle for immigration clearance – passport needs to be handed to the driver as the vehicle pass through the clearance booth. No need to carry a bag too. A full day car hire can be cheap if you share the cost with maximum passenger number and hassle-free for an entire day.

Disadvantages

Cost wise, it can be expensive if traveling under 2 or 3 people. You may get unlucky with an unfriendly driver which you get to stick with during the traffic.

Suitable For: Group of friends, families with young kids and/or elderly. Travelers with heavy luggage.

Price Range: $$$

For JB area, range from SG $80 to SG $150 one way subject to vehicle size which can fit from 6 to 7 passengers - do check if you need to add the toll fee of SG $10 (approximately from SG $15 to SG $22 per person). For a full day trip to JB including private driver plus DIY itinerary, you can book via Klook for about SG $280 per vehicle of 7 passengers (SG $40 per person return).

SGMYTAXI: www.sgmytaxi.com
SG2JOHOR: www.sg2johor.com
Klook: www.klook.com/activity/7712-private-car-charter-from-singapore-johor-bahru

5. Public Taxi (Ban San St. Taxi Kiosk, Singapore or Larkin Terminal Station, JB)

Picture Credit: Wikipedia

Hail a cab is another good old ways, thanks to both countries cross-border special licensed vehicles. You can grab Singapore or Malaysian taxis at Ban San St. Taxi Kiosk (Queen Street Bus Terminal) to bring you to Larkin Terminal Station. However, choose Malaysia cross-border taxi (yellow or blue) if you wish to be drop off anywhere in Johor (or Malaysia for that matter). Conversely, choose Singapore cross-border taxi at Larkin Terminal Station if you wish to go anywhere else in Singapore.

Advantages

Available 24 hours. Still a convenient direct non-stop service without having to get down at customs and carry bags. Cheaper than a private car or limousine hire.

Disadvantages

No frill or basic vehicle. Need to be at the pick-up point. More expensive compared to bus or train option. Need to negotiate a fare with the taxi driver when traveling other than Ban San Street (Queen Street Bus Terminal) or Larkin Terminal as there’s no fixed rate. Stuck in traffic during peak time.

Suitable For: Group of friends, families with young kids and/or elderly. Travelers with heavy luggage.

Price Range: $$ - $$$

Depart from Ban San St. Taxi Kiosk to Larkin Terminal - fare is SG $12 per person (sharing with other passengers) or SG $48 per taxi. Other than Larkin Terminal, expect to pay at least SG $70. Return from Larkin Terminal to Ban San Street (Queen Street Bus Terminal). Taxi Kiosk – fare is RM 20 per person or RM 80 per person. Other than Ban San St. Taxi Kiosk, expect to pay at least SG $70.

Taxi Singapore: www.taxisingapore.com/singapore-to-johor-bahru

Singapore - Johore Taxi Operators’ Association: Tel: +65 6296 7054

Pengurusan Terminal Teksi Johor Bahru-Singapore: Tel: +607 222 5898 or +60 7 224-6986

 

Hope the above guide assist you well in deciding which mode of transportation best to use for your future trip to JB. You may also want to look at any travel promotional to Malaysia with already inclusive of transportation – usually for coach/shuttle bus tours organized by a travel agency.

Finally, while you may get some ideas on how to travel from Singapore to JB, it is wise to also know how to plan the trip around the pain points or any unexpected situations - congestion, snaking queue for bus, traffic jam on the bridge, queue at immigration, meeting prayer time, and toilet issue.

* Please check service provider website for an update on price or accurate quotation for your specific trip.

P.S. If you have any suggestion for a reliable private taxi provider, we would love to hear from you!

Lifestyle writer on travel, food and wellness.Well travelled and a global-nomad. Live to thrive is the essence of her blog www.sliceoftorchginger.com