More time needed to ramp up bus services between Singapore and Johor: Iswaran

A traveller arriving at Queen Street Bus Terminal on Feb 21, 2022. ST PHOTO: THADDEUS ANG

SINGAPORE - More time will be needed to ramp up bus services between Singapore and Malaysia, even as border restrictions between the two countries will be eased from Friday (April 1).

Transport Minister S. Iswaran said on Wednesday that the authorities will need time to assess the situation before ramping up land transport services between the two countries.

"It has been a line of connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore that has been largely underutilised for the better part of two years," said Mr Iswaran.

"We must make sure that even as we try to enhance their connectivity, we do this in a way that facilitates smooth travel... It doesn't mean that we are going to therefore take a long time to do this, but we need to take adequate time to assess the operations."

From Friday, travellers fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to travel between Singapore and Malaysia without having to take any Covid-19 test or serve quarantine. They will no longer be required to take designated vaccinated travel lane buses.

The two companies currently operating vaccinated travel lane bus services, Transtar and Causeway Link, have said they will ramp up cross-border bus operations when border measures are eased on Friday.

But there have been no updates so far about when exactly public bus services between the two countries will resume. The train service linking Singapore and Johor has yet to resume as well.

On the public bus services, Mr Iswaran said the public transport operators are working with the Land Transport Authority and the Transport Ministry to prepare for their introduction.

"I think we need to just start with what we have announced and get that going because that in itself is going to be a major and important task," he added.

"So I think once we get that going, it will help... not just the transport authorities or the service providers but also the health authorities and the immigration authorities to really get a better sense of how things are shaping up."

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