How to get from Singapore to JB

Update: New ticket sales for VTL land and air travel will be suspended from 23rd December 2021 – 20th January 2022.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Singaporeans can now head off to the shopping and foodie paradise of JB under the expanded land VTL scheme, from 20th December 2021 onwards.

Of course, travelling to Johor now is different from what it was like pre-pandemic. Transport options are limited, plenty of PCR tests are in store and you’re still encouraged to go over only when necessary. For those who still plan to head down, here’s a 2021 guide on how to get to JB.

We’ll be updating this article as the land VTL restrictions change. 

 – Before you leave Singapore – 

singapore covid-19 cruise rapid antigen test
Image for illustration only

While we’d all love to pack up our luggages and go ASAP, not everyone can make their way across the crossway just yet. Before you head off, first be sure you check off the following criteria. VTL travellers will have to:

  1. Be a Singapore Citizen, Malaysian Citizen, Malaysian Permanent Resident or Holder of a Malaysia-issued Long-Term Pass
  2. Be fully-vaccinated with a WHO-listed vaccine; unvaccinated children under 12 have to be accompanied by vaccinated parents or guardians
  3. Have no travel history other than to Singapore, Malaysia or any other VTL countries over the last 14 days

You’ll also have to prepare a handful of documents; some of which will be requested throughout your journey. 

  • Prepare a soft copy of your Digital Vaccination Certificate, found on your TraceTogether app
  • Print out a copy of your Vaccination Certificate with QR Code
  • Register for your visit on MySafeTravel 
  • Apply for travel or medical insurance –  you’re recommended to have one that has a minimum coverage of $30,000

On top of that, VTL travellers also have to prove that they’re Covid-free by taking an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 48 hours of departure. These are priced from $15/test and can be done at any of the Ministry of Health approved clinics.

Finally, you’ll also need to download the MySejahtera app – essentially Malaysia’s version of TraceTogether. This will be used for contact tracking and will be the platform for submitting the results of self-administered ART tests while you’re there. 

– Getting to JB – 

Getting to JB
Image was taken pre-Covid

By bus

At the time of writing, the only way to get across to JB is via one of the two designated bus services: Transtar Travel and Causeway Link, also known as Handal Indah. You can’t head over by car or via the well-loved KTM Shuttle Tebrau just yet.

There are currently 32 daily trips provided by each service – with 16 trips from Singapore and another 16 coming back from Malaysia, with 45 seats available on each ride. However, this number could change based on the Covid-19 situations in both countries so it’s best to constantly check the news for the latest updates.

Singapore to JB VTL
Image credit:
Causeway Link

Tickets are sold on a first-come-first-served basis and last we checked, the websites for both seemed overloaded, with visitors having to queue in a virtual waiting room due to overwhelming demand, so prepare to wait in line!

You can also expect to pay a little more for your bus ticket as well. Fares are the same for both Transtar Travel and Causeway Link with the main difference between the two being the pick up and drop off point in Singapore. 

Bus fares
Singapore to JB: $15/adult or $8/child
JB to Singapore: RM20(~S$6.50)/adult or RM10(~S$3.20)/child

Route for Transtar Travel 

  • SG to JB: Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange to Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal
  • JB to SG: Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal to Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange 

Route for Causeway Link 

  • SG to JB: Queen Street Terminal (near Bugis) to Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal
  • JB to SG: Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal to Queen Street Terminal 

According to Malaysia’s MITI, these buses leave Singapore from 9.30AM-7.30PM and leave Malaysia from 7.30AM-9.30PM daily. However it seems this may vary depending on transport availability as well.

Print out a physical copy of your bus ticket. You’re also recommended to arrive at least an hour before all your departure times. 

Book a Transtar Travel ticket | Book a Causeway Link ticket

 – Arrival in JB – 

Once you arrive in JB, the first thing you’ll have to do is take an On-Arrival Test priced RM90 (~S$29.30) at Larkin Bus Terminal. On top of that, visitors will also have to take the RTK-Ag test daily for six days. All are self-administered except the ones on day three and five.

Malaysia VTL regulations
Image credit: Malaysia Ministry of Health

– Coming back to Singapore – 

Before coming back home, Singaporeans have to take a PCR or ART test within two days of departure at one of approved test centres by MOH Malaysia, and submit an SG Arrival Card within 72 hours before coming back to Singapore. 

Upon arrival, travellers will also have to take daily Covid-19 ART tests for a week. The ones on days three and seven will be done at a Combined or Quick Test Centre, while the other tests can be self-administered.

Note: Covid-19 testing requirements may vary depending on Singapore and Malaysia’s latest VTL measures. Find out more on ICA (Singapore) and MITI (Malaysia).

Travelling from Singapore to JB with the land VTL

Following VTLs to Germany, Korea and more, it’s finally JB’s turn to be part of the VTL scheme and we’re more than happy for it. There’s already talk about expanding the land VTL to other modes of transport such as trains, so we’re thrilled to see what lies in store in the near future.

With that said, bear in mind that a trip to JB doesn’t come cheap – at least for now. You may have noticed that there are plenty of ART/PCR tests in store and according to calculations done by Klook, this can add up to an average of $286. It’s not the cheapest way to spend your December holiday by any means, but it’s the price to pay if you want to travel to JB now!

Cover image adapted from: Causeway Link