Empty JB Sentral, Johor Bahru City Square & Komtar JBCC
Perhaps the most economically-obvious thing to hit Johor Bahru is seeing an empty downtown. The walk from R&F Marina Place to JB Sentral was pretty quiet without any sounds of horns and traffic jams. The surreal sight was just ahead.
A checkpoint so near yet so far.
Not sure when I’ll be able to walk on that bridge again. Also I wonder if the escalator has already been fixed.
Reaching the end of the 650 meter long bridge.
On first arrival at the driveway which is closed, JB Sentral was very quiet, with almost no sign of human life.
JB Sentral Bus Terminal
I headed down to the JB Sentral Bus Terminal first, and was surprised at what I saw.
The mamak and shops around are all closed, except for Point convenience shop.
Local bus operations, however, continue in full swing. Some shopping buses have their frequency reduced or are still currently suspended.
Heading into Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral), there’s a security personnel checking if you had scanned the MySejahtera QR code.
Most shops in JB Sentral are closed. There’s no more passing crowd any more, and of course no one needing to change money at the moment, or get a new Malaysia SIM card.
2 convenience stores are open, along with Rotiboy, but that’s about it.
And yes, KFC is shockingly closed too. The outlet over at City Square is still open though.
KTM train services are temporarily suspended between JB Sentral and Kempas Baru with the progress of Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Double-Tracking Project (EDTP) works.
However, the ticket counter is still open on Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 5pm.
2 new KITS ticket kiosks have been installed beside the JB Sentral KTM Ticket Counter. Tickets can be purchased with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express credit and debit cards, Boost™ eWallet, and Touch ‘n Go eWallet.
Gate A – Shuttle Tebrau
Expectedly, Gate A is blocked off and empty with no Shuttle Tebrau trains currently running.
The KTM Shuttle Tebrau Ticketing System gates are still switched on despite having no trains.
Gate B – All other trains
Gate B still looks the same, with the new KITS gates not installed yet. Or maybe KTM will just get passengers to use the KTM Shuttle Tebrau Ticketing System gates instead when trains can run again, who knows.
Heading down the escalator to the ground floor.
The overhead bridge to Johor Bahru City Square and Komtar JBCC is empty too.
Lights are still switched on at the JB Sentral platforms despite having no connecting railway tracks to Kempas Baru.
The driveway of JB Sentral is completely empty. No problems with catching a Grab from here now.
The facade of JB Sentral.
What an empty road.
Johor Bahru City Square
Johor Bahru City Square is in bad shape. There were Christmas decorations and some stalls in the atrium, but no crowds.
It’s the same at Komtar JBCC, with most shops closed.
A sad sight indeed for once arguably the most bustling spot in Johor Bahru with swarms of Singaporeans visiting especially during weekends. Even if borders were to fully open right this instant with no travel restrictions, I don’t think the JB economy will be able to recover immediately. Johor Bahru City Square and Komtar JBCC need to adapt to local Malaysian spending powers in order to get domestic crowds in to the mall, if not those in the know, or those who still think these 2 malls are expensive, will just continue to visit Galleria@Kotaraya or a MYDIN instead.