Ridewell Travel Cross Border Bus Service AC7 from Yishun to JB Sentral
Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 is a Singapore-Malaysia cross-border public bus service between Yishun, Singapore and JB Sentral, Malaysia. I headed to JB for a joyride on this new operator to see how AC7 buses are being operated now.
The AC7 bus service was launched on 15 December 2010, operated by Advance Coach (hence the service number), as part of a bilateral Singapore and Malaysia agreement by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and former Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak at the Leaders’ Retreat in Singapore on 24 May 2010. AC7 is now operated by Ridewell Travel since 19 May 2022 after the full resumption of cross-border travel from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notably, both Advance Coach and Ridewell Travel share the same office address at 26 Boon Lay Way, #01-75, Tradehub 21, Singapore 609970, though this address may also belong to a virtual office as there are other businesses also registered to this same address.
Yishun Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) for Bus & MRT
Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 departs from Yishun Integrated Transport Hub (ITH). This new bus interchange is connected directly to Northpoint City Shopping Centre and is linked to Yishun MRT Station by 2 underpasses.
The boarding berth for Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 is located all the way at the end of Yishun Integrated Transport Hub (ITH).
Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 operates from Berth B8 of Yishun Integrated Transport Hub (ITH).
Do note that Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 is not an express bus. Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 stops at all bus stops via Yishun Avenue 5, Sembawang Road, and Woodlands Avenue 9 en route to JB Sentral Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ.
On the day of my trip, demand for Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 was almost non-existent as AC7 currently operates with a low frequency and without a timetable. The waiting time for Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 really depends on luck now.
Departure times for the next Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 are also not shown in the interchange as is a private bus operator.
My wait for Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 took 25 minutes. The Ridewell Travel bus can be easily spotted as it’s not in LTA Lush Green livery.
Do note that Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 currently does not operate with a fixed frequency or schedule. If one was available, it is currently not published.
The Ridewell Travel bus approaching Berth B8.
Boarding Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7. Ridewell Travel uses a fleet of ex-Woodlands Transport Yutong ZK6126HGA buses which previously mainly operated for Changi Airport bus services.
Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 Fares
The fare structure for Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 from Singapore is simple, at a flat fare of S$2.50 by EZ-Link card or S$3 by cash, regardless of distance travelled or age. Do note that the only card payment accepted is by EZ-Link card, and NETS FlashPay or other contactless cards are not accepted.
From Malaysia, a flat fare of RM6 by cash only is charged, regardless of distance travelled or age.
My ticket for my Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 ride from Yishun Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) to JB Sentral Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ. Ridewell Travel still uses the ticket from Advance Coach.
This ticket must be kept for re-boarding at Woodlands Checkpoint after Singapore immigration. If lost, a new ticket must be purchased.
The interior of the Ridewell Travel Yutong ZK6126HGA bus operating on AC7.
Luggage racks are available on board the Ridewell Travel AC7 bus, which are remnants from Woodlands Transport’s Changi Airport operations. This is also useful now for cross-border travellers with luggage.
There is also a wheelchair space and plenty of standing space between the front and middle doors, previously catering for flight remote gate passengers at Changi Airport, which is also useful now for crush loads on the Causeway during peak periods.
Passing by Yishun MRT Station.
Do note that the bus stop right outside Yishun MRT Station is not served by Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7. You need to cross over to Yishun Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) to board Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7.
As there was only 1 other passenger on board, I picked a bay of 4 seats to have more space to stretch out.
The route of Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 in Singapore largely follows Tower Transit Bus Service 858 between Yishun MRT and Woodlands Avenue 9.
Turning towards Sembawang MRT Station.
Sembawang MRT Station
Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 is also scheduled to stop at Sembawang MRT Station. This may be useful if you’re originating from here, but with the current low frequency of Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7, it might be faster to just catch a train to Kranji MRT and take 160, 170, or 170X from there.
Continuing on the residential and industrial areas along Gambas Avenue and Woodlands Avenue 9. Due to the lack of passengers, the Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 just drove past most of the bus stops, only picking up 2 passengers along the way.
Turning left at Admiralty Road.
Bus Stop 46119 Marsiling CC is the last Singapore domestic bus stop that Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 serves. If you are not continuing on to Johor Bahru, you must alight here.
Looping around Woodlands Centre Road.
Turning right to Woodlands Checkpoint.
The regular Singapore immigration for bus passengers is conducted at Woodlands Checkpoint. Take all belongings with you as you leave the bus.
Re-boarding at Woodlands Checkpoint is just down the escalators after immigration. The bus bay for Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 is right in front of the end of the escalators.
On re-boarding at Woodlands Checkpoint, give your ticket to the bus driver. The bus driver will keep your ticket.
Continuing on the journey to Malaysia on the Johor-Singapore Causeway.
A different kind of overseas travel with this former Changi Airport bus.
Crossing the international border from Singapore in to Malaysia.
The skyline of R&F Princess Cove from the Johor-Singapore Causeway.
Approaching Johor Bahru Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI).
The queue of buses waiting to alight passengers and to go through immigration.
JB Sentral Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) CIQ
The first and final stop in Malaysia for Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 is right here at Johor Bahru Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) complex. Take all belongings with you as you leave the bus.
Proceed upstairs for Malaysia immigration and customs.
If continuing on to JB Sentral, take the walkway after immigration and customs. Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) is connected with JB Sentral and Johor Bahru Sentral Railway Station (JB Sentral) as 1 complex.
If continuing on to Larkin, transfer to buses 170, SJE, or CWL at the platform down after immigration and customs. Regular 170, SJE, or CWL bus fares apply according to each operator.
Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 is currently not the most feasible option for a fast journey to Johor Bahru unless you’re really lucky with the waiting time, but it is a seamless one-seat ride from Yishun and Sembawang if you are originating from along the AC7 bus route.
As Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 is operated by a private bus operator, the fare structure is independent and separate from the regular public transport fares, which means you don’t get to continue with your distance-based fare if you are transferring from other public transport. If you require a transfer, it’s better to just continue on the existing Singapore public transport routes to continue with the Singapore distance-based fares.
Nevertheless, services on Ridewell Travel Bus Service AC7 are still being progressively ramped up by this new operator, and if a stable and reasonably fast frequency can be provided like how Advance Coach operated AC7 in 2010, I foresee that demand would return since AC7 passes through high catchment areas in the north of Singapore.