VTL-Land set to open next week

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his Singapore counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, will jointly open the long-awaited land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL-Land) next Monday to facilitate the movement of Malaysia and Singapore residents across the Johor Causeway.

The matter was revealed by Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong in a Facebook post yesterday after he met with a host of logistics and transport operators that provide cross border services.

The VTL-Land between Singapore and Johor Baru commences on the same day as the VTL-Air, which connects Changi with KLIA, to provide quarantine-free travel for screened travellers who must also meet other criteria.

VTL-Land will be carried out using only designated buses, with its Malaysian terminal based at the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal in Johor, while the corresponding point in Singapore is the Queen Street Terminal.

Dr Wee said as far as facilitating cargo movements is concerned, he had a virtual meeting with representatives from Malaysia’s logistics and transport operators to sort out issues on traffic congestion from lorries entering Singapore via the Causeway.

At the session, he met the Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners (PMLOA), the Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH), and the Malaysia Tipper Lorry Operators’ Association (MTLOA), among other operators.

“I was glad to share with them the good news, which is that both Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to extend the operation hours of the Causeway from 12 hours to 18 hours (from 7am to 1am) after discussions with our Singapore counterparts.

“This new operating hours will be enforced after both the Malaysian and Singaporean Prime Ministers launch the VTL-Land on the Causeway on Nov 29,” said Dr Wee, who added the operating hours had previously been reduced to 12 hours, or from 7am to 7pm daily, since April 2020, in response to the pandemic.

He said that he appreciated the difficulties faced by industry players over the severe congestion faced by transport operators when sending essential products from Malaysia to Singapore on a daily basis.

Malaysia’s exports to Singapore include live poultry, eggs, fresh vegetables, and construction materials, among many others.

“It is hoped that this initiative will ease the movements of lorries and trailers, and help the recovery of the economic activities, especially the transportation sector, that has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

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