2023 Commuting Guide: Journeying from Singapore to JB – Latest Expenses and Travel Protocols

September 13, 2023

By Bus

Estimated time taken to reach JB checkpoint by bus: 1h (off-peak) to 4h (peak)

After clearing JB immigration at JB checkpoint, if you want to further head to JB Sentral / Larkin, you may board these buses accordingly:

JB Sentral – 160, 170e, 950

Larkin – 170, CW1, CW2, SJE

Here's a detailed step-by-step guide for traveling from Singapore to Johor Bahru (JB) by bus:

Step 1

Board any bus that is headed to Woodlands Checkpoint (refer to the table above for bus options).

Step 2

Complete Singapore immigration procedures at Woodlands Checkpoint.

Step 3

If you have already paid the full fare for Transtar Bus (TS) and Causeway (CW), you can simply board the same bus without any additional charges. Just present your physical or digital ticket to the bus driver when boarding. If you're on a different bus, board any bus departing from Woodlands Checkpoint bound for JB Checkpoint.

Step 4

Proceed to clear Malaysian immigration at JB Checkpoint, and you're ready to continue your journey!

Please note that clearing immigration at JB can be the most time-consuming part of the trip, especially during peak periods when wait times can exceed two hours. To avoid the discomfort of long queues and potential fatigue, it's advisable to plan your travel during non-peak hours.

Grab Bus

Booking a Grab Bus through the Grab app can be a cost-effective and convenient way to travel, especially if you're heading to Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore. Here are some key points to consider when using this service:


Grab Bus offers a budget-friendly travel option with one-way tickets starting from just S$3. This makes it an attractive choice for those looking to save on transportation costs.

Transtar Bus Company

Transtar is a reputable bus company known for providing comfortable and reliable transportation services. Choosing a Transtar-operated Grab Bus ensures a certain level of quality and safety.

Few Stops

Grab Buses typically make only a few stops to pick up passengers along the route. This can help you reach your destination more quickly compared to traditional bus services that make multiple stops.

Booking via Grab App

The convenience of booking your ticket through the Grab app, specifically under the "Travel" tab, means you can easily secure your seat and plan your journey in advance.

Woodlands Checkpoint

If you're traveling to Woodlands Checkpoint, which is a border checkpoint between Singapore and Malaysia, Grab Bus can be a convenient option for reaching this location.

Seat Availability

Keep in mind that the availability of seats may vary, so it's a good idea to book your ticket in advance, especially during peak travel times or holidays.

Payment Options

The Grab app typically offers various payment methods, including credit/debit cards, GrabPay, and more, making it easy to pay for your ticket.

Check Schedules

Make sure to check the schedules and routes available for Grab Buses to ensure they align with your travel plans.

Overall, Grab Bus can be a great choice for budget-conscious travelers looking for a straightforward and affordable way to get to their destination, particularly if you're heading to Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore. Just remember to plan ahead, book your ticket early if possible, and enjoy the convenience of this transportation option.

If you opt to use alternative indirect bus routes

it's advisable to inquire with the bus driver about the destination, especially since certain buses follow varied routes, meaning that the same bus number could take you to different locations.

You may consider pre-booking your bus tickets online to receive a cheaper bus rate:

Pre-book your Transtar bus ticket. (up to 50% off!)
Pre-book your Causeway bus ticket.

By train – KTM

If you require extra space, need to accommodate a wheelchair or stroller, or have luggage to store, the train is the way to go, all while keeping your expenses to a minimum.

When it comes to traveling to JB via train, the process is quite straightforward. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Booking Your Train Tickets
To ensure a smooth journey, it's best to book your train tickets in advance through the KTM Shuttle Tebrau website. The ticket price is $5. Avoid the physical KTM counter at Woodland Train Checkpoint unless you enjoy testing your luck; tickets tend to sell out quickly.

Step 2: Departure from Woodlands Train Checkpoint
Head to Level 2 of Woodlands Train Checkpoint and join the queue for clearance at both Singapore and JB immigration counters. Afterward, present your digital or physical train ticket to the KTM staff for scanning before entering the gate. Remember to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure, as the boarding gate closes 10 minutes prior to the train's departure time.

Step 3: Boarding the Train (5-Minute Journey)
For travelers with large items like strollers or wheelchairs, the front seats closest to the door offer the most space. Be proactive in securing these seats. Once settled, relax and enjoy the swift train ride, bypassing traffic jams that cars and buses often endure during the short 5-minute journey from JB checkpoint to JB Sentral.

By Private Car or Taxi

Renting a car or hiring a private taxi is a great choice for large groups, those with elderly or young passengers, or anyone with plenty of luggage. The advantage is that immigration clearance occurs while you're in the vehicle, so you can comfortably wait, even if there's a traffic jam.

Private Taxi from Singapore to JB
SGMYTAXI offers reasonably priced taxi services, ranging from $90 to $150, depending on your pickup and drop-off locations. They also provide services to destinations beyond Johor Bahru.

Grab within JB
Grab rides in JB are affordable and convenient. Simply use your mobile app to book a ride. It's a safe and efficient way to get around JB once you've cleared immigration.

After crossing JB immigration, you can head directly to your hotel, visit popular shopping destinations like Paradigm Mall JB or City Square JB, or even pick up friends or family at JB Sentral.

By Plane

While it may seem unusual, some people do take flights from Singapore to JB. However, keep in mind that this option can be relatively costly and time-consuming:

- Flight tickets from SG to JB start at $200.
- The total travel time, including early check-in (at least 2 hours), flight time (30 minutes), boarding and disembarking, and potential delays, can take at least 3 hours.
- Unless you're a dedicated fan of air travel, it's wise to weigh the cost and benefits of flying to JB against other transportation options before making your decision.

By ferry

In a mere 40 minutes, you can traverse the ocean, departing from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and arriving at Tanjung Pengelih in JB. However, there's a caveat: a one-way ticket comes at a cost of S$70. Coupled with the approximately S$58 required for a private car transfer from the jetty to JB City Square, it may not exactly be synonymous with affordability. Nevertheless, if your intention is to explore the shops and establishments on the eastern side of Johor before delving into JB, then this route is tailor-made for your preferences.

If this aligns with your travel aspirations, you can secure your ferry seat through the Batam Fast website.

By foot

Disembark at Marsilling MRT station and follow the directional signage guiding you towards Woodlands Checkpoint. The 40-minute stroll is quite manageable and provides an excellent opportunity to work up your appetite for the delectable mountain food awaiting you at JB buffets on the opposite side of the border. During our visit, we observed stalls offering services from three different mobile service providers: Maxis, Celcom, and Digi, which are prominent telecommunications companies in Malaysia. However, it's essential to exercise caution and verify the pricing, as there are specific rates designated for Malaysians and separate ones for non-Malaysians.

If you need to exchange your currency for Malaysian Ringgit, you'll find nearby money changer shops. We happened upon one located adjacent to a SIM card store, offering an exchange rate similar to those we checked in Singapore, approximately S$1 to ~RM3.1. With your currency exchanged, you'll be fully prepared to embark on your journey to JB.

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