First buses cross Johor Causeway under VTL-Land facility

JOHOR BARU: Bus services under the Vaccinated Travel Lane for land crossing (VTL-Land) facility kicked off Monday (Nov 29), with passengers crossing from both sides of the Johor Causeway this morning.

Checks by Bernama at the Larkin Sentral Public Transport and Bus Terminal here since 6.30 am showed that the place was quiet as not many Singapore citizens, long-term pass holders or permanent residents took the first bus to the island republic under the VTL-Land.

The first Causeway Link bus left the terminal here for Queen Street in Singapore at 7.30am with only five passengers.

However, the first bus from Queen Street arrived at the terminal at 9.15am with a full load of 45 passengers. Tickets for the trip, the first in almost two years due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, were reportedly snapped up in 30 minutes after bookings were opened four days ago.

For a start, the VTL-Land will provide quarantine-free travel for 1,440 people each way daily involving a total of 64 trips using the Handal Indah (Causeway Link) and Transtar (Singapore) bus services.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong are scheduled to launch the land VTL in Woodlands later Monday.

Senior International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah are also expected to attend the ceremony.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad and Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk Azfar Mohamad Mustafar are also expected to be present.

Ismail Sabri earlier attended a pre-council meeting with ministers and officials this morning in conjunction with his first official visit to the republic Monday. - Bernama

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