Downtown Line Stage 3: A New Alternative for Changi Airport Access

The Downtown Line Stage 3 comprises of 16 stations from the city to the east, with the new terminus of the line at Expo Interchange. Most of the line runs parallel to the north of the East West Line, relieving some load off the latter. With Expo being an interchange station with the East West Line’s Changi Airport Extension, the completed Downtown Line running between Bukit Panjang and Expo with a loop around the city offers a new rail alternative to and from Changi Airport.

Transfers between the Downtown Line and the East West Line is seamless with a subway link connecting the two stations within the paid area. Just follow the signs towards the East West Line or Downtown Line, depending on which direction you are heading in.




The subway link connects to the existing paid concourse of the East West Line’s Expo station.


If you are transferring from the East West Line to the Downtown Line, the signs are clearly posted as well.

What may slow you down during the journey though, is the waiting time for the East West Line train to and from the airport, with the Changi Airport Extension operating at a slower frequency of 7 to 12 minutes.


The travel time between Expo and Changi Airport takes just 5 minutes.

Changi Airport MRT Station links directly to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.

If you are heading to…

Terminal 1: Take the exit to either Terminal 2 or Terminal 3 Departures Level and transfer to the Skytrain to Terminal 1.
Terminal 2: Take the exit to Terminal 2.
Terminal 3: Take the exit to Terminal 3.
Terminal 4: Take the exit to Terminal 2 Arrivals Level and transfer to the T4 Free Shuttle Bus Service to Terminal 4.


From here, I headed to check-in for my Malindo flight to KL.


Bonus Hack!

Get from Terminal 4 directly to the Downtown Line

Instead of getting on the T4 Free Shuttle Bus Service to Terminal 2 and change to the East West Line to Expo Interchange and change again for the Downtown Line, you can take SBSTransit Bus Service 24 directly to Upper Changi MRT Station.


The T4 Bus Stand is located across the road from the terminal, which is accessible by an underpass from T4 Arrivals Level.

SBSTransit Bus Service 24 from Terminal 4 to Upper Changi MRT Station departs from the first berth of the T4 Bus Stand. The journey takes around 15 minutes.

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BusTravel Station is now launched!

BusTravel Station is your one-stop integrated information portal and blog about what you can experience on your next bus journey. As somewhere you will sit for the next couple of hours, you want to make sure that you get as comfortable as possible since you’ll be stuck in a moving metal box to where you actually want to be.

And so that you would know what to pick before you actually purchase your ticket, I volunteer as tribute.

Why BusTravel Station?

The statistics gathered for the past month indicates that without the KTM service information pages, most visitors arrive at RailTravel Station for bus information. So, to further diversify my travel options and not dilute my existing RailTravel Station branding, bus posts on RailTravel Station will be migrated to BusTravel Station in time to come.

For bus experience seekers, I’ll see you over at BusTravel Station!

AeroBus/SkyBus (AeroSky Ventures): KL Sentral to klia2 by Express Bus

The most frequent bus route to klia2 is from KL Sentral, with AeroBus and SkyBus buses serving the route. And with a flight to catch, not wanting to risk missing it and not pay RM55, I opted to go to the airport by this method.

You might be thinking that both the AeroBus and SkyBus serves klia2 as competitors. Well, it’s true during the LCCT era, but they’ve merged some time ago and now operate as AeroSky Ventures for the klia2 – KL Sentral route, with tickets purchased from AeroBus or SkyBus valid for use on either company’s buses. Note that this applies for the klia2 – KL Sentral route only and not other routes still operating under the distinct AeroBus or SkyBus names.

AeroSky Ventures tickets are sold at the SkyBus counter for buses heading from KL Sentral to klia2. Just buy a ticket for RM12 and hop on the bus with the door open in the queue. Whether it’s red or yellow, they’re the same. Buses depart approximately every 10 to 20 minutes.

The interior of the 44-seater bus.

Passing by the old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station before heading onto Jalan Damansara towards Sungai Besi.

Passing under the KLIA Express and KLIA Transit tracks on the way out of KL.

Hmm.

Passing over the Shah Alam Expressway and Sri Petaling LRT Station.

The Bukit Jalil National Stadium, looking ready for the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Approaching klia2.

Flying over the road from KLIA.


If you miss taking the train, you can pretend you are on one as the bus enters the gateway@klia2 Transportation Hub parallel to the ERL tracks. Except that this method is around 80% cheaper.

The interior of the bus with 2+2 Orient seats.

A little bit of the old AeroBus livery is still under the advertisement wrap, listing the route as LCCT – KL Sentral.

The journey from KL Sentral to klia2, without any major traffic jam, took around 60 minutes. But you should assume that it is a 90 minute journey just in case of any unexpected jams or you are leaving during peak hours.

Pass through the glass doors to get to gateway@klia2.

Upon ascending to the main level, you will see this flight information screen. It’s not necessary to stop here because gateway@klia2 is only a shoppping mall and NOT the actual terminal building to check-in.

Continue walking straight ahead, and maybe make a stop for Gong Cha.

Also, wave at the passengers coming off the KLIA Ekspres who might have been at KL Sentral also when the bus was there who didn’t know about this cheaper option.

Ascend 2 more levels up for departures.

Exit gateway@klia2 to a short non-air-conditioned area and head straight for the klia2 passenger terminal building. The walk takes around 5 minutes from the Transportation Hub. Over here can you finally start the check-in procedures for your flight.

AeroBus/SkyBus (AeroSky Ventures): klia2 to KL Sentral by Express Bus

After getting down from my budget flight from Johor Bahru, I wasn’t going to pay a similar fare for my airport transfer, so I opted for a budget bus instead – which is probably what most people do anyway.

The bus terminal is located at the end of gateway@klia2. Look for the signs that say Transportation Hub.

All counters have integrated ticketing for all buses. Just pick the one with the shortest queue.


You could also get a Starmart back to JB or Singapore from here if you really wanted to.

My ticket for the next departure to KL Sentral. A ticket to KL Sentral costs RM12.

The bus was already waiting outside. Pretty sure that despite the system selling tickets for buses at 10 minute intervals, the buses depart whenever it’s full, which isn’t a problem since there’s a steady supply of passengers at almost any time. In fact, I have a suspicion that buses depart even more frequently than every 10 minutes.

You might be thinking that both the AeroBus and SkyBus serves klia2 as competitors. Well, it’s true during the LCCT era, but they’ve merged some time ago and now operate as AeroSky Ventures for the klia2 – KL Sentral route, with tickets purchased from AeroBus or SkyBus valid for use on either company’s buses. Note that this applies for the klia2 – KL Sentral route only and not other routes still operating under the distinct AeroBus or SkyBus names.

To further get your mind blown, AeroSky Ventures is under Wawasan Sutera and Era Mesra. Google them and have fun looking at what other brands they have under their wing.

Since this is almost the backbone of klia2 transfers from the city, AeroSky Ventures and klia2 probably work really close together since each seat has the gateway@klia2 magazine for passengers to read while on the bus.


The 3 signs to know that you’re approaching Kuala Lumpur are when you see the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower and plenty of traffic jams.

Passing by Midvalley Megamall.

The journey during the day from klia2 to KL Sentral, inclusive of traffic jams when entering KL city, took 90 minutes.

Another bus about to depart for klia2.

AeroSky Ventures tickets are still sold at the SkyBus counter for buses heading from KL Sentral to klia2. Just buy a ticket and hop on the bus with the door open in the queue. Whether it’s red or yellow, they’re the same.

Causeway Link Senai Airport Shuttle Service AA1: JB Sentral to Senai International Airport by Express Bus

While the main international gateway to and from Singapore is obviously Changi Airport, I opted to fly to Kuala Lumpur from Senai instead, since the fares were about 3 to 4 times cheaper on a Saturday. Thankfully, the airport transfer wasn’t so much of a hassle with the Causeway Link Senai Airport Shuttle Service AA1.

To get across the Causeway to catch a flight on a Saturday morning, you better do it by the Shuttle Tebrau, or just give up and get a bus ticket from Larkin because you’re probably going to miss it if you do it by the regular cross-border bus.

23101 heads the Shuttle Tebrau today.


The Causeway Link counter to purchase tickets for the Senai Airport Shuttle Service AA1 is located down the escalators to the bus terminal, before actually exiting the escalator block.

Tickets cost RM8 and buses depart at every hour (by the .00) from 6.00am to 10.00pm, with the sole bus not following the hourly frequency departing at 5.30am. The journey time is around 45 to 60 minutes. You should board the bus from JB Sentral 3 hours before your flight time.

The ticket for the Causeway Link Senai Airport Shuttle Service AA1.

The Causeway Link Senai Airport Shuttle Service AA1 pulled up at the bus bay about 10 minutes before my 11am departure.


The interior of the bus.

Upon exiting JB Sentral, the bus turned right towards Danga Bay instead of left to the Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway (EDL). Not sure why, but since the bus carried just me and another passenger, Causeway Link probably didn’t want to lose the fare to tolls.

Looking back at Woodlands.

Passing by Danga Bay.


The entrance to the PLUS Highway to KL, but not using it this time.

Passing by Senai town.

Keeping right to the junction towards Senai Airport.

Splitting off the main road to Kulai, and if you dare, to Kuala Lumpur, Changlun, Bukit Kayu Hitam and beyond.

Passing over the former Senai railway halt. Probably rarely taking this until KTM creates a better timetable or once the Gemas – JB Electrified Double Track Project (EDTP) is done.


Approaching Senai International Airport.

Alighting outside the terminal building.


Since the airport is rather compact, it’s just a few steps from the terminal entrance.

If you are heading on the reverse direction from Senai International Airport to JB Sentral, head on to the other side of the terminal where there’s a proper waiting shelter.

Airport Coach: KLIA to KL Sentral by Bus

If you’re getting from KLIA to KL Sentral, instead of heading for the more direct but very expensive KLIA Ekspres route to the city, you can also opt for the Airport Coach and save up to RM45 for your airport transfer.

The Airport Coach counter is located on the main island ahead.

Buy your ticket from the green Airport Coach booth in the middle. A bus ticket from KLIA to KL Sentral goes for RM10.

You can also buy your Airport Coach ticket online at CatchThatBus.

The boarding area isn’t as nice as the one in klia2, but still does its job nonetheless.

The interior of the Airport Coach to KL Sentral.

As this is a 44-seater bus as compared with Jetbus, the legroom is slightly compromised.

Arrived at KL Sentral. The journey from KLIA to KL Sentral took around 1 hour without jams. You should factor in a 90 minute journey just in case of any traffic incidents around.

If you’re going from KL Sentral to KLIA, you can get your ticket at the Airport Coach booth just at the boarding area. Do note that the Airport Coach only serves KLIA and does not go to klia2.

Why should you take the Airport Coach over the Express Rail Link trains (KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit) from KLIA to KL Sentral?

The KLIA Ekspres from KLIA to KL Sentral takes 28 minutes and the KLIA Transit takes 35 minutes with 3 intermediate stops. As compared to Airport Coach which takes around an hour, it’s almost half the time taken by train. However, the Airport Coach costs just RM10 as compared to the ridiculously high fare of RM55 which is 5.5 times more. Moreover, the Airport Coach guarantees you a seat throughout the journey and does not make any additional stops in between. If you can spare an additional half an hour to be early for your airport transfer, you can save RM45 per person which could get you an extra budget hotel night’s stay in KL.

You can also buy your Airport Coach ticket online at CatchThatBus.

Jetbus: Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) to klia2 and KLIA by Bus

From the very familiar Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), KLIA and klia2 airport connectivity is also available not just only from the expensive KLIA Transit airport train but also by Jetbus, allowing a pre-airport airport experience, cheaper long-term parking and connectivity from long-distance buses coming from everywhere in Malaysia, Southern Thailand and Singapore.

Tickets for the Jetbus can be purchased from any TBS counter or kiosk like a normal ticket.

My ticket from TBS to klia2. Tickets for this journey cost RM11.

The Jetbus leaves every 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the time of the day. Check schedules here.

You can also book Jetbus tickets online at Easybook.



The Jetbus ready for departure at TBS Gate 12.

Contrary to the route info on the bus, Jetbus plies the TBS – klia2 – KLIA route and vice-versa.

The interior of the 40-seater bus. If given a choice for 2+2 seater buses, pick the company that has 40 seats rather than 44 as this means that one row of 4 seats is missing and thus there’s more legroom.

The Jetbus at klia2. The journey from TBS to klia2 took around 45 minutes at night with no traffic jam. You should factor in a 75 minute journey in case of any jams if you have an actual flight to catch though.

If you are travelling from klia2 to TBS instead, you can purchase tickets on the spot at the centralised ticketing counters for RM11.


If you are travelling from KLIA to TBS instead, you can purchase tickets on the spot at the Jetbus counter for RM11.

Why should you take the Jetbus over the KLIA Transit train from Bandar Tasik Selatan?

The KLIA Transit from Bandar Tasik Selatan takes 29 minutes to KLIA and 32 minutes to klia2, whereas the Jetbus takes around 60 minutes to KLIA and 45 minutes to klia2. However, the Jetbus costs just RM11 as compared to the ridiculously high fare of RM38.40 which is about 3.5 times more, and could actually get you an air ticket with an AirAsia RM0 promotion with the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) or “airport tax” at RM35 for flights to ASEAN countries. Moreover, the Jetbus guarantees you a seat throughout the journey and does not make any additional stops in between. If you can spare an additional half an hour to be early for your airport transfer, you can save RM27.40 per person.

You can also book Jetbus tickets online at Easybook.

Transnasional: Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur by Bus

Since the long weekend of Hari Raya Aidilfitri was approaching, against all advisories to travel up north to Malaysia with the traffic jams at both checkpoints, I decided to go to Kuala Lumpur anyway.

But wisely of course. Instead of getting a bus from Singapore, I opted to get the 1.30pm Shuttle Tebrau to JB Sentral (because every train earlier was already sold out) and then get a 2.30pm bus from Larkin Sentral to KL, both purchased 30 days ahead.

BusTravel Station Redirect 02 620

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