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Transportation to Johor Bahru

Get in Johor Bahru l Get around Johor Bahru

Get in Johor Bahru

By Land

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From Singapore

Most visitors to JB arrive from Singapore via one of two land links.

The Causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore is a very popular and thus terminally congested entry point connecting directly into the heart of JB. While congestion isn't as bad as it once was, the Causeway is still jam-packed on Friday evenings (towards Malaysia) and Sunday evenings (towards Singapore). The Causeway can be crossed by bus, train, taxi, car or foot.


A second crossing between Malaysia and Singapore, known imaginatively as the Second Link, has been built between western Singapore and Malaysia. Much faster and less congested than the Causeway, it is used by some of the luxury bus services to Kuala Lumpur and is strongly recommended if you have your own car. There is no public transport across the Second Link, and only Malaysian "limousine" taxis are allowed to cross it (and charge RM150 and up for the privilege). Walking across is also not allowed, not that there would be any practical means to continue the journey from either end if you did.
Driving a car from Singapore to Malaysia is relatively uncomplicated, although small tolls are charged for both crossing and (for the Second Link) the adjoining expressway. Do be sure to change some ringgit before crossing, as Singapore dollars are accepted only at the unfavorable rate of 1:1.

Entering Singapore with a foreign-registered car is more complicated and expensive. You will need to purchase a S$10 AutoPass (AP) card and use it to pay a Vehicle Entry Permit of S$20 per day (weekdays only) and either rent an In-vehicle Unit (IU) for payment of road pricing charges or pay a flat fee of S$5 per day. See the LTA's Driving Into & Out of Singapore guide for the today's bureaucratic details.

In both directions, note that rental cars will frequently ban or charge extra for crossing the border.

From other parts of Malaysia
JB is at the southern end of the North South Expressway, the toll highway which runs the length of Peninsular Malaysia. Those accessing the city can exit at Skudai, Kempas, Jalan Pasir Gudang or Johor Baru exits.

JB is also at the southern extremity of the Federal Route One, the main trunk road which runs the length of Peninsular Malaysia's West Coast states. Federal Route Three or the East Coast Road also links JB with the East Coast towns of Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu via Kota Tinggi and Mersing. The West Coast's coastal road can be accessed from Pontian.

By Bus

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From Singapore
The following are options to cross the Causeway to/from Singapore by bus:

Buses between Johor Bahru and Singapore
Line
Stops in Singapore
Stops in Johor Bahru
Price
Causeway Link CW-1
Kranji MRT only
Larkin via Kotaraya
S$1.30, S$1.00 from Singapore

RM1.30, 1.00 from Malaysia

Causeway Link CW-2
Queen Street only
Larkin only
S$3
Causeway Link CW-3
Jurong East MRT / 2nd Link
Tampoi / Tmn Perling / Bt Indah /Gelang Patah / Kotaraya
S$3.50 Adult , S$1.50 Children
SBS 170 (red plate)
Queen St via Kranji MRT
Larkin only
S$1.30 (EZ-Link OK)
SBS 170 (blue plate)
Kranji MRT
Kotaraya only
S$1.30 (EZ-Link OK)
SBS 160
Jurong East MRT via Kranji MRT
Kotaraya only
S$1.00 (EZ-Link OK)
SMRT 950
Woodlands MRT via Marsiling MRT
Kotaraya only
S$1.50 (EZ-Link OK)
Singapore-Johor Express
Queen St only
Larkin only
S$2.40

There's a pattern to the madness: Singaporean-operated buses (SBS, SMRT, SJE) can only stop at one destination in Malaysia, while the Malaysian-operated Causeway Link buses can only stop at one destination in Singapore. Terminals aside, all buses make two stops at Singapore immigration and at Malaysian immigration. At both immigration points, you must disembark with all your luggage and pass through passport control and customs, then board the next bus by showing your ticket. On the Malaysian side, the bus stop is to your left as you exit the immigration post. Figure on one hour for the whole rigmarole from end to end, more during rush hour.

From other parts of Malaysia
Long-distance buses from JB to other points in West Malaysia depart from Larkin Bus Terminal, located some 4 km north of the Causeway. You can connect to or from the city center with local buses or taxis.

Only some Singapore-bound services, Senai Airport Express and some local bus services use the Kotaraya 2 Bus Terminal on Jalan Trus in the city centre.

By taxi

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Normal Singaporean taxis are not allowed to cross into Malaysia (and vice versa). Specially licensed Singaporean taxis permitted to go to a single point in JB can be booked by phone (Johor Taxi Service from Singapore, tel. +65-6296-7054, S$ 45.00 one way to fixed point in JB, Kotaraya), while Malaysian taxis (which can go anywhere in Malaysia) can be taken from Rochor Rd at premium rates. A combination ride from anywhere in Singapore to anywhere in Malaysia can also be arranged, but you'll need to swap cabs halfway through: this will cost S$40 and up, paid to the Singaporean driver. In the reverse direction towards Singapore, you can take taxis from Kotaraya to any point in central Singapore (S$30) or Changi Airport (S$40).

You can also opt to share taxis from Rochor Rd, which usually works out to around S$8 per person with four people (or pay S$32 for the whole car). The main advantage here is that you don't need to lug your stuff (or yourself) through Customs at both ends; you can just sit in the car.

The most expensive option is to take a limousine taxi specially licensed to take passengers from any point to any destination, but only a few are available and they charge a steep RM150 per trip. Advance booking is highly recommended, tel. +60-7599-1622.

By train

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The KTM Johor Bahru railway station is located about 5 minutes walk directly north from the Malaysian checkpoint. Train tickets leaving from JB are half price those leaving from Singapore.

KTM trains from Singapore into Malaysia also cross the Causeway, but on separate right of way and are thus immune from the traffic jams. On the flip side, Malaysian immigration is conducted at the Tanjong Pagar station in Singapore, but you will be required to disembark with all your luggage and pass through the Singaporean checkpoint at Woodlands. Trains are also very slow (the trip takes an hour) and very infrequent with only half a dozen services daily, but at RM2.90 one way to central Tanjong Pagar the price can't be beat.

A long-awaited project [1] to construct a new integrated terminal to replace the old, dilapidated train station is scheduled to be completed in 2006.

By boat

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JB's ferry terminal is called the Johor Bahru International Ferry Terminal and is located in "The Zon" duty free complex (locally referred to as "Duty Free") in Stulang Laut, 2 km east of the Causeway. Ferries go to Batam and Bintan in the Riau Islands of Indonesia. There are also domestic ferries to Tanjung Belungkor which is located at southeastern Johor where there are transport connections to the Desaru resort area, as well as Changi Ferry Terminal in Singapore. Getting there/away: Causeway Link bus No. 22. They can be caught at the Komtar Shopping Complex in the centre of the city.

To Batam: Ferries depart almost hourly to Batam Centre. RM60/95 one-way/return. Journey takes 90 mins.

To Bintan: Around seven ferries daily to/from Tanjung Pinang. RM75/125 one-way/return. Journey takes 90 mins.

To Tanjung Belungkur: Two ferries daily at 0945 and 1945. RM34/44 one-way/return. Journey time 30 mins.

For information on all three services, you can also call Tenggara Senandung (Tel: +60-7-2211677).

On foot

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The 700 metre Causeway can also be crossed on foot in about 15 minutes. This can be a very useful shortcut when the Causeway is jammed, at least if you have only a small amount of luggage and you're on the move either very early in the morning or late in the evening (when it's not so hot).

Be careful at the Malaysian end of the Causeway, you will have to cross the traffic to get to the immigration/customs building. There is a set of traffic lights that is supposed to stop the traffic to allow you cross, but these are generally ignored by drivers. It's very hazardous, and best attempted in rush hour when everything is jammed to a halt.


 

 

 
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