S'pore-M'sia cross-border public bus and taxi services to resume May 1


Land borders between the two countries were reopened a month ago for fully vaccinated travellers. - LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Those intending to travel between Singapore and Malaysia will be able to take public buses and cross-border taxis from May 1.

This comes a month after land borders between the two countries reopened fully for vaccinated travellers, and more than two years after these services were halted in March 2020.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Friday (April 22) that SBS Transit will be reinstating bus services 160, 170 and 170X. SMRT Buses will restart its 950 cross-border service, and Singapore bus operator Transtar Travel will resume the operation of its TS1, TS3, TS6 and TS8 services.

The three bus operators have been recruiting, redeploying and training their drivers, and conducting route familiarisation since the start of this month after a two-year hiatus, LTA said.

With the resumption of these public bus services, the existing vaccinated travel bus services provided by Transtar Travel and Malaysian bus operator Causeway Link will end on May 1, LTA added.

After Malaysia shut its borders to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the early stages of the pandemic in March 2020, services 160 and 170 were rerouted to turn around at Woodlands Centre Road and Woodlands Train Checkpoint instead of going to Johor Baru.

The other cross-border bus services were suspended as a result of pandemic restrictions.

With the reinstatement of the services from May 1, service 160, which connects Jurong East to Johor Baru via the Causeway; service 170, which plies between Queen Street Terminal and Larkin Terminal in Johor Baru; service 170X, which plies between Kranji MRT station and JB Sentral; and service 950, which starts from Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange and loops at JB Sentral Terminal, will operate between 5.20am and 12.30am daily.

These are the same operating hours as pre-Covid-19 days.

The frequency of these bus services will also be similar, LTA said, with services 160, 170 and 950 operating at intervals of up to 20 minutes during peak hours and intervals of up to 25 minutes during off-peak hours.

Service 170X will operate at intervals of up to nine minutes during peak hours and up to 17 minutes during off-peak hours.

Commuters can check LTA's MyTransport.SG app or operators' websites for bus operating hours and arrival timings, LTA added.

The authority said it is also working closely with its Malaysian counterpart, Agensi Pengangkutan Awam Darat (Land Public Transport Agency in English), to reinstate cross-border taxi services.

Commuters travelling to Johor can either board a taxi at the Queen Street taxi terminal or book one through taxi companies with licensed cross-border taxi drivers.

Said LTA: "All travellers are reminded to comply with travel requirements of Singapore and Malaysia to ensure smooth immigration clearance."

More than 1.2 million people crossed the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia in the first two weeks of these borders reopening fully.

Over the Good Friday weekend last week, another 436,800 travellers passed through the land checkpoints at the Causeway in Woodlands and the Second Link in Tuas.

Before the pandemic, about 415,000 people used the Causeway and Second Link daily.

The Causeway was one of the world's busiest land crossings.

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