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  • Rick

Best Times to Cross Singapore-Johor Causeway (Woodlands)

Updated: Jul 27

The most daunting part of travelling to Malaysia from Singapore via Woodlands Checkpoint is crossing the Straits of Johor using the Causeway (also known as the first link). The road-and-rail link between the two countries is usually heavily congested, especially on weekends, a time where most people chose to get on the road-bridge at the same time.

To find the best times to cross the Causeway, we need to understand who, why and when will the people be at Woodlands Checkpoint (for going to Malaysia) and Johor Bahru Checkpoint (for coming to Singapore).

The majority of the "who" are:

1. Commuter-Workers: There are more Malaysians going to Singapore to work than Singaporeans working in Malaysia. Most of the workers are blue-collar workers and usually need to work 5.5 days a week. Workers can either be working on shifts or regular time (from 9am to 5pm).

"Workers" also includes those who drive cargo-carrying lorries, long container trucks, cars and motorcycles, which are one of the contributing factors to traffic jams. Singapore imposes a Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fee on foreign-registered vehicles from Monday to Friday but exemption granted between 5pm to 2am. Most foreign-registered vehicles will aim to reach Singapore checkpoints after 5pm on weekdays to save on the fee. During school holidays, the exemption starts at 12pm.

There are also Malaysians with Permanent Resident (PR) statuses who reside and work in Singapore but will return to their hometowns over the weekend.

2. Travellers. These are foreign travellers and Singapore holiday-goers, but mostly Singapore day-trippers to Johor Bahru due to higher exchange rate when converting from Singapore dollar to Malaysia ringgit. Most Singapore day-trippers drive, which worsen the traffic conditions during peak hours.

3. Others. This population is too small to be of concerns.