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  • Writer's pictureRick

Bus Guide: Singapore to JB Sentral or City Square in Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru City Square is the nearest shopping mall to Singapore. All you have to do is to get to Woodlands Checkpoint, cross the Causeway, clear Malaysia immigration in Sultan Iskandar (JB) CIQ complex, walk through JB Sentral and you are at JB City Square or KOMTAR JBCC right besides it. It's easy!

To go further into Johor Bahru, take public buses from the bus terminal below JB Sentral, or take a bus to Larkin Sentral for long-distance buses to other cities or states beyond Johor.

JB Sentral is also a train terminal for trains to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang (via Butterworth), etc. There is also a shuttle train service to Woodlands in Singapore.

PART 1: From Singapore to JB Sentral

Before you go, find the best times to cross the Singapore-Johor causeway without being caught in both human and traffic congestion at the customs. Spending 2-6 hours at the customs during a weekend trip or holiday is not sound planning.

Read: Best Times to Cross Singapore-Johor Causeway (during normal weekends)

#1. Take Bus to Woodlands Checkpoint

There are several buses from different bus interchanges in Singapore to Woodlands Checkpoint for crossing over to Johor Bahru.

1. SBS Transit 170 departs from Queen Street Bus Terminal and stops at bus-stops en-route to Woodlands Checkpoint, so it has a long travelling time. It stops at the bus stop opposite Kranji MRT Station too. The service is non-stop in Johor Bahru till Larkin Sentral. The fare from Queen Street to JB CIQ is S$2.80 (cash) or S$2.07 (using EZ-Link Card).

2. SBS Transit 170X is a shorter-distance service of SBS Transit 170 that plies between Kranji MRT Station and JB CIQ. This service has higher frequency before 8:30am. The fare from Kranji MRT Station is S$1.90 (cash) or S$1.15 (using EZ-Link Card).

3. SBS Transit 160 serves the route between Jurong East Station and JB CIQ. It makes a stop opposite Kranji MRT Station too. The fare from Jurong East to JB CIQ is S$2.60 (cash) or S$1.88 (using EZ-Link Card).

4. SMRT 950 serves the route between Woodlands (Temp.) Interchange and JB CIQ. The fare from Woodlands Interchange is S$1.90 (cash) or S$1.25 (using EZ-Link Card).

Note: SBS Transit 160 / 170 / 170X and SMRT 950 are inter-transferable between Woodlands Checkpoint and JB CIQ at no extra costs.

Kranji MRT Station in Singapore. Board Bus 170X outside the station.

5. Cross Border AC7 is a private bus service that plies between Yishun Interchange and JB CIQ. The fare is S$3.00 (cash) or S$2.50 (using EZ-Link Card).

6. Causeway Link CW1 plies between Kranji MRT Station and Larkin Sentral. The fare is S$2.60 (cash) or S$2.00 (cashless payments such as EZ-Link, ManjaLink, etc) to Larkin Sentral. For going to JB Sentral, it may be cheaper to use other services.

7. Causeway Link CW2 departs from Queen Street Bus Terminal and takes express route to Woodlands Checkpoint. The fare is S$4.80 (cash or cashless payments) to Larkin Sentral. Even though this service costs more than SBS Transit 170 from the same bus terminal, it is faster since it is non-stop all the way to the checkpoint.

8. Causeway Link CW5 departs from Newton Circus and is non-stop to Woodlands Checkpoint. The fare is S$4.60 (cash or ManjaLink) to JB CIQ.

9. Singapore-Johore Express (SJE) departs from Queen Street Bus Terminal and takes the same express route as CW2 to Woodlands Checkpoint and is non-stop too. The fare is S$4.80 to Larkin Sentral.

For those who stays in the south or eastern part of Singapore, taking CW2 or SJE from Queen Street Bus Terminal may be an easier option — don't lose the ticket stub, you will need to show it to the bus driver when re-boarding respective buses at the checkpoints.

For those staying in the west and north, it does not make sense to go to Queen Street Bus Terminal for the express buses. Get to Kranji Station for SBS Transit 170X outside the station or SBS Transit 160 / 170 opposite the station. Or get to Woodlands Station or Marsiling Station for SMRT 950 or Yishun Station for AC7 to avoid possible long queues at Kranji Station.

Expect long queues during peak hours and weekends and do use your EZ-Link card for concession fares.

#2. Clearing Singapore Immigration

All buses mentioned above will stop at Woodlands Checkpoint, alight and proceed to clear Singapore Immigration. Those taking SBS Transit 160 / 170 / 170X / SMRT 950 must tap your EZ-Link card when alighting to "suspend" the journey or you will be charged a new fare when reboarding.

During peak hours or on weekends, allow 30 minutes to 1 hour to clear immigration. It takes less than 5 minutes during non-peak hours.

#3. Crossing the Causeway

After clearing Singapore Immigration, proceed to the ground level to re-board the buses. Those taking SJE should re-board SJE only. Those taking CW1 / CW2 / CW5 can queue and board any CW buses, including CWL, that come along.

Those taking SBS Transit 160 / 170 / 170X / SMRT 950 can queue in any of the 3 lanes and re-board any SBS Transit / SMRT buses that come along. Tap your EZ-Link card again to "resume" the journey.

No extra charges will be incurred here — except if you decide to change to other bus service (will need to buy a new ticket in Singapore dollars).

After boarding the bus, it will cross the Singapore-Johor Causeway. Buses and other heavy vehicles use a dedicated lane to JB CIQ. On Sundays or public holidays, there will be much lesser heavy vehicles, making buses the fastest mode of transportation on the Causeway.

#4. Clearing Malaysia Immigration

On reaching JB CIQ, alight from the bus once more and proceed to clear Malaysia Immigration. Those taking SBS Transit and SMRT buses should tap your EZ-Link cards again to end the journey (even though "suspended" will be shown).

Note: Johor Bahru immigration is a border-crossing with NO visa-on-arrival, so make sure you have free or valid visa before going there. Passports must have at least 6 months of validity period. Work permit holders must bring along your work permits as required by Malaysia Immigration. Singapore Immigration officers will also ask to see it to ensure work permit holders meet the requirements by Malaysia Immigration to avoid unnecessary hassles after crossing the road-bridge.

During peak hours or on weekends, expect 1~2 hours to clear immigration. It takes less than 10 minutes during non-peak hours.

#5. Exit JB CIQ

After clearing Malaysia Immigration, turn left at the first exit (after passing a money changer) and follow the walkway to exit JB CIQ. You will come to JB Sentral after exiting the complex. Cut through JB Sentral to the other side and you will see Johor Bahru City Square and KOMTAR JBCC standing side-by-side opposite JB Sentral.

Johor Bahru City Square (Shopping Mall)

KOMTAR JBCC (Shopping Mall)

PART 2: From JB CIQ to Singapore

The return process is merely the reverse of getting to JB Sentral from Singapore but with slight differences.

From JB Sentral, walk to JB CIQ and keep to the right-most lane after passing the lifts and escalators to the bus terminal. Show your passport to the customs officers on duty. Then follow the crowd and proceed to the departure hall of the complex.

After clearing Malaysia immigration, go to the bus bays one level down and board:

  • SBS Transit 160 / 170 / 170X to Woodlands Checkpoint. After customs, board Service 160 to Kranji Station then to Jurong East, Service 170 to Kranji Station then to Queen Street Terminal and Service 170X to Kranji Station. Fare (in RM) varies depending on your destination or use EZ-Link card if changing to other public transports later to make use of distance-charging.

  • SMRT 950 to Woodlands Interchange (RM1.90 or use EZ-Link card if changing to other public transports later)

  • CW1 to Kranji Station (RM2.60)

  • CW2 to Queen Street Terminal (RM4.80)

  • CW5 to Newton Circus (RM4.60)

  • AC7 to Yishun Interchange (RM6.00)

All buses will cross the Causeway and you will need to alight again at Woodlands Checkpoint. If you use EZ-Link card, tap it before alighting to "suspend" the journey. After clearing Singapore Immigration, reboard the respective bus to your destination (and tap EZ-Link card to "resume" journey).

For those taking SBS Transit 170, you will be able to drop at any bus stops along its service route in Singapore from Woodlands Checkpoint to Queen Street. Most people will drop at Kranji MRT Station and switch to the faster MRT trains.

Reduce time spend at the checkpoints:


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