Choosing a bus from Singapore to JB

Planning a day trip to JB but don’t know which bus to choose? If you are leaving from Queen Street, Bugis, here’s some tips on which bus company to pick, assuming you already know how to get to the Queen Street terminal. I’ll also list the steps you need to take before you reach Malaysia’s shores.

From Queen Street, there are three bus companies that leave for JB: Causeway Link, SBS and Singapore-Johor Express.

SBS Transit 170


The most familiar bus company among the three. You might be tempted to board the 170 SBS Transit bus, thinking you can pay by EZ-Link and you’re in the hands of trusted Singapore[-based] drivers.


I do not suggest taking SBS unless it’s the very last bus you can take. (It happened to me once coming back from JB. It was almost midnight.)

Why shouldn’t you take SBS?

  1. It stops at every bus stop. While the other buses go directly to the checkpoints, SBS will stop at the bus stops along the way, picking up passengers.
  2. The queues hopping back on the bus from the checkpoints are always really really really long. Your fellow passengers taking Causeway Link will zip past you onto their yellow bus while you are stuck in the long queue. Too bad.
Long queue at customs

Causeway Link

Causway Link

I like to call this The Yellow Bus and it’s my favorite bus company among the three listed here.

You should pick this over the others because:

  1. There are more buses ferrying you from the Singapore checkpoint to the Malaysian one, compared to Singapore-Johor Express.
  2. There are less passengers waiting for this at the checkpoint compared to SBS.
  3. When you leave from Queen Street, everyone gets a seat, unlike SBS where seats are first come first served.
  4. They accept payment using EZLink.
Causeway Link counter

A con of the Causeway Link bus is that you get really weird people on board. There was once a grandpa who told his grandson really loud: There are no toilets along the way and you can pee in the bottle if you need to.

By the way, if you are taking Causeway Link from JB to Singapore, just hop on whichever yellow bus is there regardless of its destination. The driver will charge you accordingly and you just switch to the right bus after Woodlands.

Singapore-Johor Express

Singapore-Johor Express

I only took the SJE once for my trip to Larkin and onwards to Seremban. My travel buddy and I chose SJE because it seemed to have the most buses heading to Larkin. (The time when we took Causeway Link to Larkin, we had to wait in line for a long long time after the Malaysian checkpoint. The passengers were ruthless in grabbing seats too.)
If you are only heading to JB Sentral, not Larkin, then DO NOT take SJE. Their bus frequency from the Singapore customs to Malaysia is really low so if your passport checking took a bit more time, you’ll have to wait for the next bus to come in about 20 minutes time. Gag.

Singapore-Johor Express counter

They only accept cash so keep plenty with you.

Good points about SJE:

    Less passengers with children.
    Tour bus-like seats.

Bad point:

    Low frequency bus
Old school Singapore-Johor Express ticket

Their bus ticket is the really old school type so if you want a souvenir from the past, hop on.

What to do at checkpoint

Now that you are on the bus, take a nap and your vehicle will get you to the Woodlands Checkpoint.

At the checkpoint, bring your stuff with you and get your passport stamped/checked.

Hold on to your ticket, and queue up where your bus will stop. So for SBS’s head to the long line, Causeway Link is on the far right and SJE is where not many people are queuing.

Show your ticket to the conductor and off you go to Malaysia!


Getting back to Singapore from JB by bus

This actually warrants its own post but here quick tips of how you can get back to Singapore.

Assuming it is before 11pm, you still have the above three choices to come back to Queen Street.

I’ll still recommend taking Causeway Link because there’s not as many people as SBS. Also, you can hop on any yellow bus at the JB customs because you’ll only need to take the one you need to take after the Singapore Customs. Prepare RM2.50 (so much cheaper than going!)

If it’s past 11pm, your only choice will be the SBS buses. Oh well, at least there’s not queue.

31 thoughts on “Choosing a bus from Singapore to JB

  1. Hi, thanks for providing these information!
    Our group of friends are going to JB from singapore next year, and stay there for a few days before heading somewhere else.
    So, we’re taking luggages with us, if we’re taking either SJE or Causeway Link, is the bus gonna provide us a space for luggage storage? Or we’ll have to carry all our stuff with us on the bus?

    1. Hello Angel,
      You’ll need to carry all your luggage with you on the bus for all of the three buses listed here. (No luggage compartment.)

  2. Hi.. Your blog is amazing. Really help me. I come from Indonesia and me and my friends are going to Singapore and then continue our journey to KL via JB with night train next week. We are going to take a bus from Singapore to JB and I want to ask how to get to JB Sentral Railway Station to hop on the train? Where should I alight? I read on your other post and I was thinking that it’s in the same building with JB’s immigration? Is it right?
    Thank you

    1. Hello Lala,
      Thanks for the comment. *blush* Yes, the railway station is connected to the JB immigration checkpoint at the building with a Starbucks. It’s not really a “station” but a gray building linked to the station below.
      Hope your trip goes well!

      1. Hello again..
        Thank you for yout information..
        There’s another thing I want to ask, can I pay with Singapore Tourist Pass for Causeway Link?
        Thank you :D

  3. Hello. Thank u for this blog. My question is will it be okay if i pay an extra seat for our luggage? We are 6 pax, we will have an overnight stay in jb and go to kl the next day.

    1. Hello Reena,
      You don’t need to pay extra for luggage. The buses are like public buses and you can bring as many things as you like. If you really have too many things, you can consider taking a taxi from Queen Street. It was $40 per car, the last time I took it (4 years ago?)

  4. Hi there,
    Thanks for all the info…very well laid out. We are planning to catch a bus during CNY time to Johor Bahru. Any idea how much time it would take at the checkpoint if we leave on 2nd day (sunday) of CNY vs leaving on the 1st day (saturday)? Thanks.

    1. Actually, I have no idea how long the queues are during CNY at checkpoint. But I suggest Day 1 because most people will be visiting relatives then which might mean that less people will be heading to JB.
      Safe travels.

  5. hi dear
    can you give some idear
    i want to jb and kl,
    how can i take bus from singapore to jb and kl?

  6. Hi, i would like to ask as we are planning to travel to Singapore and stay at Johor as it will cost less. Hence, we will need to travel to and forth from Johor to Singapore. Can I please get some advice where and which transportation that we can board? We are kinda lost in this.

    Thank you very much. :)

  7. Greetings …

    We need one way transport from V-Hotel in Singapore to Citrus Hotel in JB on the 17 March 2013, in the evening.

    We will be having 2 61’cm Bags and some hand luggage

    What services do u offer and what are your changes
    What are the suitable time in the evening


  8. I just missed the Causeway Link bus so decided to give SJE a try. Regret already! Two other Causeway Link buses had since departed while my SJE bus is still waiting for I don’t know what.

    And I just saw from your post above, the bus doesn’t go JB Sentral??? Shucks, the bus is moving. Where am I gonna end up? Lol!

    Shall live dangerously today :)

    Thanks for the good info. Wish I checked before paying the $2.40… :)

    1. It does go to JB Sentral. Just that I don’t recommed people going there take SJE.
      Good luck with the bus!

      -Yun Qing

      1. Yea I got to JB Sentral safely and took a causeway-link bus from the bus interchange there to KSLcity. 1.50RM. Thought I’ll just mention it here because a lot of Singaporeans are taking taxi (10RM) to KSL. The bus takes a longer route but still it’s just 15-20min only.

        By the way, have fun on your RTW trip!

        – damsie

  9. Thanks for the information, brilliant blog. Im going to be arriving into Johor Bahru airport in September, does the Causeway link bus stop here frequently? You also mentioned about after the Johor Bahru customs that you can take any yellow buses…I assume they all go to the same place?

  10. Hi, I’m from VietNam and I’m gonna be in Singapore next week but I still havent had a clue about getting from Singapore to JB. Now I have read your blog, it’s so awesome and you have help me alot for the infor mation haha. But I still dont know the way to get to the Queen Street, Bugis station, can you help me out ? Thanks! :) (p/s: I’ll be living in Chinatown) and agian thanks alot for your help ;)

  11. Hi,
    I suggest those travelling to and from JB during weekends to avoid the following ‘peak’ hours:
    SG -> JB: 10:00 – 13:00
    JB -> SG: 13:00 – 20:00

    I commute weekly across the border during the weekends, and so far I have identified the above times as some of the most crowded times during weekend. During these times there are actually lots of motorcars and passengers heading to JB and back to Singapore.

  12. great info, we are going to do this trip at this new year, i heard the queue at custom will take up to 1 hour or more is that right? thanks again

  13. Depends on the bus service you choose.

    CW Buses have the longest queues, but very high frequency as well. If you are travelling between checkpoints, expect a CW bus to depart something like almost one every 2-3 minutes.

    SMRT and SBS buses have shorter queues but longer waiting times. As for AC7 and SJE, it depends on the schedule.

    Generally the queueing time is quite long if you travel on so-called ‘peak’ hours at both sides of the checkpoint.

  14. Hi yq,
    I’m planning a trip to jb & singapore in jan14 & so glad that i stumbled upon ur site. We’ve purchased flights to jb & will b staying at citrus hotel which is one of the nearest hotels to jb train station. I understand that the jb train will take you to woodlands ktm.
    Can u pls advise:
    1) what mode of transport is best if we want to go to singapore zoo from woodlands ktm? We hav to young kids aged 6mths & 3yrs.
    2) what mode of transport is best if we want to return to jb from singapore zoo?
    3) are there any direct shuttle buses/ coaches from jb train station to singapore zoo,sentosa, ,singapore flyer and vis versa?

    Thanks :)

    1. Your questions give me a good idea for a blog post.
      First of all, do not take the train from JB to Singapore’s Woodlands because there are no frequent trains and Woodlands KTM is in the middle of nowhere.
      Take the public buses from JB’s train station into Singapore. You just reverse whatever is in this post to get into Singapore.
      Since the public bus to Singapore Zoo leaves from Ang Mo Kio, take the public bus that stops at Kranji (or Newton) and then take the MRT to AMK. To go back to JB, if you are visiting the night safari, there should still be buses around that time. So you reverse the directions.
      I do not think there are any direct buses to the locations that you want to visit.
      I recommend you use for making transportation planning. This way you can choose the best option you want.

  15. dear Yun Qing,
    thanks for sharing. If my arrival is at 01.00am at Changi and I need to go to genting, what is the best affordable transportation? Big Thanks

    1. The best way is to buy a cheap air ticket to KL and then go to KL Sentral or other places to buy the bus ticket to Genting. []
      Or else you will need to take the bus to KL and that takes up a lot of your time. Time = Money.

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