New Woodlands-Johor Baru shuttle train service from July

A NEW shuttle train service plying between Woodlands and Johor Baru (JB) Sentral will start on July 1.

Malaysian rail operator Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) will operate the service called Shuttle Tebrau.

There will be 14 trips daily - seven from JB Sentral station and seven from Woodlands station.

A one-way fare from Woodlands will cost $5, while the return trip from JB Sentral will be priced at RM5 (S$1.80).

KTM said in a press statement that the shuttle service will provide a transport solution for commuters who are travelling daily from Johor to Singapore.

"It is also an effort to reduce the massive road congestion, especially during the peak hours at the Johor Causeway."

The departure timings from Woodlands station will be 6.30am, 8am, 9.30am, 5pm, 6.30pm, 8pm and 11pm.

From JB Sentral, the timings will be 5.30am, 7am, 8.30am, 4pm, 5.30pm, 7pm and 10pm.

Each trip can cater to between 300 and 320 passengers.

Commuters said that compared to taking the bus to JB, the train may be quicker although it is slightly costlier.

Travel blogger Liau Yun Qing, 29, said it took her about two hours to get from Queen Street in Singapore to JB Sentral last Saturday, using the Causeway Link bus service.

"This is because of the queues to clear immigration and queues to board the buses again (after clearing immigration)."

The ride, however, cost her just $3.30 going in, and RM3.40coming back.

There are currently seven cross-border bus services that ply between Singapore and JB - two are operated by SBS Transit, one by SMRT, and the other four services by private bus operators.

Prices for the private services range from $2 to $7.

KTM said that with the new shuttle, train services from KL Sentral, Butterworth and Gemas stations - which currently terminate at Woodlands station - will instead end at JB Sentral from July 1.

Commuters will have to use the Shuttle Tebrau to complete the rest of the journey to Singapore.

Beautician Janice Lee, 50, who visits JB occasionally to shop and eat, said: "I have never taken the train (to JB), but if this new shuttle service is convenient and safe, I wouldn't mind giving it a try."

adrianl@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2015, with the headline 'New Woodlands-Johor Baru shuttle train service from July'. Print Edition | Subscribe