Thursday 21 July 2011

taking the bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru - updated

in February 2009 I did a blog post titled
I updated it in Sept 2009 due to a few transport changes. 
That blog post is by far the most popular of all on 
it now has a minimum of 40 hits per day, or since 
I first uploaded it over 9000 hits on that one page!

But it's time for another update ..... in fact I think it warrants a whole new page!

so here goes....

You can travel by bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru quite easily.

You can even spend a day shopping in Johur Bahru (or JB as it is usually known as) all you need is your Passport, your ID card, a few Ringgits, your bus pass and away you go!

The bus will stop at Woodlands checkpoint and you alight there for JB Sentral for shopping.

Or, if you are intending to go further afield, take the bus through to LARKIN BUS INTERCHANGE to catch the coach to KL, Malacca etc. Some buses will also list Kotaraya .. this is a 'suburb' of JB.

Days to avoid - if possible - would be Public Holidays, Fridays, Saturday and Sunday as it gets extremely busy, especially at Woodlands Checkpoint. We have noted that Friday evenings are the busiest. Though leaving a little later, perhaps after 6.30pm is easier.

There are many area's in Singapore to board a bus to JB:


take the Singapore-Johor Express Coach from Queen Street Bus Station to Larkin Bus Terminal in JB. The ticket costs S$2.40.The Singapore-Johor Express Coach runs from 6.30 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. at 15-minute intervals. The Singapore-Johor Express Coach travels more quickly than Bus No. 170, which makes many stops along the way to JB. However, there is no luggage space on the coach, so you'll be asked to buy a second ticket (S$2.40) for your shopping on the return journey!

BUS 170..... The cheapest way to JB. would be to take Bus No. 170 from either Queen Street Bus Station or the bus-stop along Rochor Canal Road (just after Sim Lim Square). The bus fare is S$1.60. The service runs from 5.20 a.m. to 12.10 a.m. everyday. But it also travels along Bukit Timah Road and Woodlands Road and stops at KRANJI MRT.... so whatever is the more convenient area for you to board the 170.  Log onto the SBS Transit website for the 170 bus route.

A central stop (for BUS 170) for many would would be BUS STOP 40091 at the intersection of Dunearn Rd / Stevens Rd (opp the old Copthorne Orchid) would take 50 mins from here and the cost would be $1.41.


Board Bus 160 all the way to JB. Cost is $1.41 and the time will take 45 minutes.

Or take the MRT (from Jurong East) to KRANJI MRT and board bus 160 or 170 from the MRT to JB.  Cost will be $1.49 and the time will take 40 minutes.

the following images are of Jurong Bus Interchange and the boarding point for Bus 160:


take bus 856 - this bus will take 20 minutes.

FROM IKEA (on Alexandra Rd) this one is for Andrea!!

Take bus 961- board at bus stop 10131 Opp block 2 on Jalan Bukit Merah / or bus stop 11021 opp Queenstown Police Hdqrs and alight at Kranji MRT..... wait for bus 160 or bus 170.  All up the cost will be $1.69 and the total time would be 70 minutes. 

Following images are of the bus stop at Kranji MRT:


The Advance Coach AC7 bus service was launched in Dec 2010. The bus runs between Yishun bus interchange in Singapore and Kotaraya II terminal in Johor Baru. It makes numerous stops enroute between Yishun bus interchange and the Woodlands checkpoint. The frequency is 20 to 30 minutes, from 5.45am 11.30pm (Singapore to Johor Bahru) or 5am and 11.50pm (Johor Bahru to Singapore). The bus fare is a flat $2 (if you board the bus anywhere in Singapore) or 2RM (if you board the bus in Johor Bahru).


The Transtar Cross Border Service TS1 minibus (24 passengers) plies between Changi Airport and Johor Bahru. The service calls at coach stands at Terminals 1, 2, 3, and the Budget Terminal at Changi Airport and terminate at Kotaraya II Terminal. One-way fares from Changi Airport to Johor Bahru is S$7 for adults and S$3.50 for children. From Johor Bahru, adults will pay RM7 whereas children will pay RM3.50. Payment can be made using EzLink card or with cash. The first bus leaves Changi Airport for Johor Bahru at 6.50am, Johor Bahru for Changi Airport at 5.00am with the last departures at Changi Airport and Kotaraya II scheduled at 11.50pm and 10.00pm respectively. Frequency is set at every 60 minutes. The bus calls at 5 stops along its route in Singapore (excluding Woodlands Checkpoint) and uses the Tampines and Seletar Expressways.


The Transtar Cross Border Service TS8 double-decker bus plies between Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) and Johor Bahru. The bus call at 6 stops along its route. The service also terminate at Kotaraya II Terminal in Johor Bahru. Fares are set lower, at S$5 for adults from RWS to JB, and S$2.50 for children. From JB, adults will pay RM5 and children, RM2.50. For boarding at the other points along the route, adults can expect to pay between S$3-S$4, whereas child fares are between S$1.50-S$2. Passengers can choose to pay using their EzLink cards or with cash. From RWS, the first bus will leave at 8am (Mon-Sat) or 9am (Sun) with the last one at 11pm (Mon-Fri) or 1am (Sat-Sun). From Kotaraya II Terminal, the first bus departs at 5.45am (Mon-Sat) or 6.15am (Sun) and the last bus at 9.45 (Mon-Fri) or 10.45pm (Sat-Sun). Service TS8 will run at a frequency of every 1 or2 hrs. The bus calls at 6 stops in Singapore (excluding Woodlands Checkpoint) along its route.

OK ... now we have reached Woodlands Check Point ... 

what to do?  where to go?

If you are on Bus 160 or 170, the driver will let you off on the Singapore side of the causeway for you to enter Singapore Immigration. Take everything off the bus with you, tap your transit card and follow the crowd up the escalator, proceed through immigration and out the other side ...... go down the escalator, and follow the crowd - usually around to the right - where the bus will stop to take you across the causeway:
You can see how 'quiet' the bus area is mid week!!

It does not matter if you were on Bus 160 or on Bus 170, you can take either across the causeway. If you are traveling on one of the express buses, you must board that bus.

The bus will take you across the causeway to the Malaysian Immigration. As you proceed up the escalator you will see a desk on your far right - if needed, this is where you will pick up the white immigration cards to complete your entry into Malaysia.

Proceed through immigration.

Make sure that the customs official has stamped your passport and it is dated.

From here you can continue on to KL, Larkin etc through the immigration building to the bus stops at the far end - follow the signs.

If you are intending to go to JB for a day of shopping, do not continue to the end of the building and to the bus stop, but on the LEFT near the Tourist Information Centre, follow the crowd around to the left as these people will probably be going to JB Sentral too!
please excuse poor quality images - I doubt photography is permitted, so took these very quickly so you can see what the hallways and exits points are like. Once there if you did not have these visual aids, you would be wondering if you were going in the right direction!!

Keep following the signs to JB Sentral and or the crowd!

Malaysia has the most amazing customs complex - it is huge - It is called the Southern Integrated Gateway.  It is super modern, efficient and has interesting architecture!
Continue down these escalators crossing the main roadway via the covered walkway and then you enter JB Sentral. It is a large shopping complex - all the main stores can be found there: Adidas / Bata / City Chain / Factory Outlet Store / Lee Cooper / Starbucks / J. Co Donut etc....... I often go there to the APEX Pharmacy, it is downstairs (just up from J.Co Coffee shop) and past the BATA Shoe Store. They have a good range of vitamins etc and you can email them ahead of time if you have a specific order or items you want to check if they have it in stock.

The Popular Book Store - upstairs - is well worth a visit. They have all the latest magazines at half the price they are in Singapore. If you have a discount card (Popular) make sure you take it with you. It is a fabulous store that carries all the good stationary items that are not found elsewhere.

Birthday / Christmas / Easter cards are all there too ... and a far greater range than you will see anywhere in Singapore. I have seen birthday cards in Singapore for around $8.00 ... in JB I get them for 3.00 MYR. That equals $1.20 SGD.

I usually bring back about 6 cards each time I go to JB. Their Christmas Cards are amazing ... such a wide variety. Certainly well worth going perhaps in November to purchase your cards. Then don't forget, post them after December  5th from Singapore for 50 cents.

See? I give you all this good info that you probably didn't know!

returning to Singapore remember ....

Do not bring back with you any large quantities of chewing gum, cigarettes, DVD's etc....

ONE packet of cigarette's, or better still none at all!

Enough gum for personal consumption only.

DVD's .... not sure... though I have brought back 4 at a time.

Other shopping like books etc there seems to be no limit...... take shopping bags with you (ie the grocery green bags) as it will be much easier for you to carry any large quantities of shopping!

Medication - up to three months supply ONLY - for personal use only - and you must have a letter from your doctor with you at all times. We only bring in one months supply at a time, or if we both go over, we get two months supply.  

and to return to Singapore - retrace your steps and return to Malaysian Customs and back onto bus 160 or bus 170, or whatever bus you came over on!
back home on the bus after a happy day of shopping in JB, 
better still you now have another stamp in your passport!

am sure this blog post has been of help, 
if it has, please feel free to pass it on to others.


malia said...

great post! i'll have to get over there one of these days. thanks!

alicesg said...

Great to have the update on how to go to JB. I might go again in few months time, this time bringing my friends there.

Leone Fabre said...

If you log on to the website, you might find a bus / train that is closer to where you live than what I have listed above!

XOXO, Michelle said...

Following you now! Thanks for finding me!

We should catch up for coffee :)

Chaithra and Naveen said...

very useful post .
you should do a post on things to do in JB. I never understood why people flock there !!

Gill and Olia said...

Thanks for this great info! When you return from JB to Singapore, how long is the stamp in your passport valid for? Is it another 30 days? We are currently in Singapore with 30 days stamp in our passports. Please let us know.

Leone Fabre said...

Gill and Olia ....

each time you go over they stamp your visa, so its a new visa for each visit (at no cost) but I do not know how long the actual visa is for. Wouldn't be any more than 30 days I wouldn't think.

Des Ho said...

Thanks for the info n pictures! Really appreciate the details, your effort, n generosity in sharing them :)

Anthonynic said...

Excellent post !!! Thanks !!!
I am staying a marina bay sands & want to go to Johor premium outlets .
Does anyone know how long the express coach takes ??
How far is the bus station from marina bay sands ??
What's more comfortable ..... Express coach or private car/taxi ???
Thank you everyone !!!!

Anthonynic said...

Great post !!!
We are going to Singapore in 5 weeks & want to go to johor premium outlets. Should we take a coach or I have been given a price to go with a private car . I have 2 children so the most comfortable & quickest way .
What are your thoughts ??
Thanks !!!!!

Leone Fabre said...

It takes about an hour from MBS to get to JB. Make sure you have your passport etc with you too!

If you have children with you and you want to see other outlets for shopping take a hire car.... be prepared for a long wait at the border if its a Friday night you are going over.

Anthonynic said...

Thank you !!!!!
Other outlets ??? Are there other outlets in JB ???
Any ones that you know of ???
The reason we are going over the border is for the shopping .... Everyone says that Singapore is expensive .... Is that true ??? We will be there for the great Singapore sale but saw on the website that not all the shops go on sale :(

Thank you again for your help .... Much appreciated !!!!

Unknown said...

Thanks for this very detailed post :) I can now go to Malaysiam alone without getting lost haha

Unknown said...

It's a great post, thanks! I'd just like to know if we are to leave our luggage when we go through the border if we are aboard Transtar's TS1 or do we bring it with us through the customs?

Leone Fabre said...

You must always take your luggage thru with you. Never leave any luggage behind on the bus!