All geared up for VTL-Land


Final touches: A worker checking the facilities in the waiting room at Larkin Sentral for travellers to undergo an on-arrival Covid-19 test once they arrive from Singapore.

JOHOR BARU: The Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal and Public Transportation is all geared up to welcome travellers shuttling between Malaysia and Singapore as the Vaccinated Travel Lane for land crossing (VTL-Land) using buses takes off today.

Larkin Sentral building manager Mohd Helmi Mohd Affendi said the management had roped in eight Rela members to help with security on top of their own auxiliary police personnel and security guards during the first week of VTL-Land.

“If Malaysia and Singapore gradually increase the number of travellers from the initial 1,440 (each way), we will get further help from Rela.

“For now, we are 100% ready to comply with the guidelines set by the Health Ministry for the start of VTL-Land,” he said yesterday.

The bilateral arrangement will kick off with 32 bus trips from each direction daily between Larkin Sentral and Queen Street Terminal in Singapore.

Mohd Helmi said the interval between the buses is 15 to 30 minutes, with the earliest bus departing from Larkin Sentral at 7.30am and the last at 8.30pm, while buses from Singapore will start arriving from 9.20am until 9.30pm.

He also said he had been told that there are still many tickets available for Singapore-bound buses but tickets to Larkin Sentral had been sold out for the first week of VTL-Land.

“This might be because the number of Singaporeans or those holding permanent resident status are not many compared to Malaysians working there (wanting to return),” he said.

Mohd Helmi also advised travellers who had already obtained their vaccination travel pass and ticket and had done a Covid-19 test two days prior to their travel dates to arrive at Larkin Sentral an hour before the bus departs.

“This will give the travellers ample time to ensure that all required documents are in order before they hop onto the buses,” he added.Mahathir Anuar, the manager of Handal Indah Sdn Bhd which operates buses branded under Causeway Link, said 16 of the company’s drivers had been fully vaccinated and had gone for a recent Covid-19 test.

“This is part of the company’s measures to ensure a smooth ride for travellers heading towards Singapore and Malaysia.

“We also took part in a dry run last Tuesday to make sure that everything will be up and running on the first day of VTL-Land,” he added.

Handal Indah, together with Transtar Travel, are the two bus companies authorised under the bilateral arrangement to ferry approved travellers across the Causeway and back.

Under the VTL, fully vaccinated travellers can travel between Singapore and Malaysia but are subject to Covid-19 tests in lieu of serving quarantine or a stay-home notice.

The land border between Malaysia and Singapore has been closed since March 18, 2020, when both countries imposed movement restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19.

Travellers coming into Malaysia using the VTL-Land need to register at mysafetravel.gov.my while travellers from Malaysia to Singapore are required to register at go.gov.sg/vtl-portal.

These registrations are compulsory before any ticket purchases are made.

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