After making my selection of less crowded buses since my initial Eltabina Express was cancelled, I settled for Billion Stars and got a RM1.50 refund for the fare difference, thinking that how bad could it further get as long as I get moving at midnight.
Another slight boo-boo on TBS’s side, my boarding pass was printed with Gate 7 as the boarding gate, but the bus was actually at Gate 10. Luckily, a staff was hovering around Gate 7 to call for passengers on Billion Stars.
The Billion Stars Express bus standing by for departure when I got to the boarding gate at around 12.20am.
I had the impression that Billion Stars was on the same level as Pacific since they were once lower-class partners of Transtar.
Once I boarded the bus, I was so wrong. The bus was clean with good legroom using the Orient seats since this bus had only 9 rows on board with 27 seats instead of the crammed 31 seat formation with 4 seats at the back row making the calf-rests suitable for minions only.
The bus also came equipped with a 3-pin power socket at every seat, AND a USB power socket for the window seats. (The aisle or “B” seat’s power socket are located on the aisle side of the seat.) The Eltabina Express cancellation turned out to be a blessing disguise instead.
The bus departed on time at 12.30am, to which I fell asleep easily since I was tired out already.
The bus made a refuelling and toilet break at Pagoh (which I was awake for probably just under a minute), and the following are the estimated times at the alighting points:
Larkin Sentral arrived: 4.30am
Larkin Sentral departed: 4.35am
JB Sentral (Bangunan Sultan Iskandar) arrived: 4.45am
JB Sentral (Bangunan Sultan Iskandar) departed: 5.05am
Woodlands Checkpoint arrived: 5.10am
Woodlands Checkpoint departed: 5.30am
Golden Mile Complex (Beach Road) arrived: 6.00am
Even with taking the 12.30am bus from KL, I still made it to JB Sentral and Woodlands before the first Shuttle Tebrau at 5.30am. The arrival time of 6am at Golden Mile was perfect for the first Harbourfront-bound departure on the Circle Line at Nicoll Highway station at 6.12am on Sundays & Public Holidays.
Will I take Billion Stars again?
Even though they haven’t crossed my mind before, for the sake of the power sockets available at the seats and the good legroom, yes, it would be one of the companies I would consider travelling with again.