Updated: Jul 6, 2020
Getting from Singapore to Johor, in West Malaysia, is really easy. Apart from the two road links at Woodlands and Tuas, there is also a shutter train link at Woodlands and two ferry services at Changi. A new MRT service from Singapore to Johor Bahru is also expected to be ready by end-2024.
Depending on where you are heading to, you can make use of the different channels available to get to your destination faster. And also different experience with different modes of transport. Refer to the Google map at the end of this post for locations and routes.
1. By Road via Woodlands Causeway
The border crossing at Woodlands is the most heavily used crossing and is often congested during peak hours and weekends. It is essential to know the best times to cross the causeway at Woodlands to avoid getting caught in traffic jams.
Several bus services depart from Singapore and terminate either at JB Sentral (last stop is actually at Johor Bahru CIQ) or Larkin Sentral. People going to the shopping malls will usually drop off at JB CIQ and change to local public transport. Those going further north or outside of Johor Bahru will continue the bus journey to Larkin Sentral.
Bus services from Singapore to JB CIQ:
- SBS Transit 170X from Kranji MRT Station
- SBS Transit 160 from Jurong East Bus Interchange (pass opposite Kranji MRT Station)
- SMRT Service 950 from Woodlands Bus Interchange
- Advance Coach AC7 from Yishun Bus Interchange
- Causeway Link service CW5 from Newton Circus
Bus services from Singapore to Larkin Sentral:
- SBS Transit 170 from Queen Street Bus Depot (pass opposite Kranji MRT Station)
- Causeway Link CW1 from Kranji MRT Station
- Causeway Link CW2 from Queen Street Bus Terminal (non-stop in Singapore)
- Singapore-Johor Express (SJE) from Queen Street Bus Terminal (non-stop)
2. By Shuttle Train from Woodlands Train Checkpoint
For people who dislikes the idea of crossing the Straits of Johor by bus services, another alternative is to use the shuttle train service between Johor Bahru and Singapore.
The train service used to be a long-haul service from Tanjong Pagar in Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. After Tanjong Pagar Railway Station ceased operations in 2011, the railway service was moved to Woodlands Train Checkpoint. Also, due to railway upgrading to ETS (stands for "Electric Train Service") in Malaysia, older trains are used for the shuttle service between Singapore and Johor Bahru and connecting trains to Gemas Station in Malaysia.
"Shuttle Tebrau" is the name given for the short-distance service and it transits to-and-fro between JB Sentral and Woodlands Train Checkpoint only. The journey is only 5 minutes. However, it costs S$5 to get from Singapore to JB Sentral but RM5 for the return ticket if purchased over the counters (buying online costs a little more).
Shuttle Tebrau's schedule is subjected to frequent changes, so it is better to check KTMB's website directly for available seats and timings.
To get to Woodlands Train Checkpoint, take the following bus services:
From opposite Kranji MRT Station:
- SBS Transit 170A
- SMRT Service 178
From Woodlands Bus Interchange:
- SMRT Services 856, 911 and 913
From opposite Marsiling MRT Station:
- SMRT Service 856
Alternatively, instead of taking the shuttle train, you can also get to Woodlands Train Checkpoint and walk over to the main Checkpoint (for departure). This can be useful when there is congestion on the roads leading to Woodlands Checkpoint.
3. By Road via Tuas Checkpoint (2nd Link)
Unlike Woodlands Checkpoint, there are only two bus services to Tuas Checkpoint from Jurong East Bus Interchange. Causeway Link service CW3 heads for the shopping malls in Bukit Indah and CW4 to Gelang Patah Bus Terminal before continuing to Pontian.
Both CW3 and CW4 will head to Tuas Checkpoint and Johor CIQ before going on their designated routes. Keep the ticket stubs for reboarding the buses at the checkpoints.
Journey: 30 minutes to Tuas 2nd Link
Frequency: 15-20 minutes
Fare: S$4.00 (cash only)
After Johor CIQ, board CW3 for Bukit Indah at no additional charges.
For Legoland and Hello Kitty Town, change to Causeway Link service JP02, which has a fixed 3-hour interval schedule (refer to landtransportguru).
For Pontian, board CW4 to Gelang Patah Bus Terminal and change to another CW4 or 52T to Pontian at RM4.20.
4. By Ferry at Changi Point Ferry Terminal to Pengerang
Few people, including Singaporeans, know that there are two ferry services from Singapore to Pengerang in Johor, especially for the resort beach in Desaru. To places further north of Desaru, it will be better to use the border crossing at Woodlands and go by land.
From Changi Point Ferry Terminal (the same ferry terminal to Pulau Ubin) at one end of Changi Village, bumboats service the route to Pengerang — to be precise, the dock and immigration post at Tanjung Pengelih. Those who knows about Pengerang usually go over for fresh and cheap seafood. The dock is also nearer to Desaru Ostrich Farm.
There is no fixed schedule for the bumboats — they will depart when there are exactly 12 passengers. The fare is S$13 per head with an additional S$2 for bringing a bike. If there are insufficient passengers, especially on weekdays, pay for the missing heads and the bumboat will depart. The journey is 45 minutes.