Transtar Cross Border is a series of public buses running between Singapore and Johor Bahru, Malaysia, operated by the same company operating the long-distance luxury buses to Kuala Lumpur and Genting Highlands. While a public bus, the Transtar Cross Border charges a premium for their express services, but this could be worth it on peak days such as Friday evenings. From Orchard, I got on Transtar Cross Border Service TS8 from Orchard (Thong Teck Building) to JB Sentral (Johor Bahru Checkpoint) to catch the 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran.
Waiting at the bus stop at Thong Teck Building, Scotts Road (Bus Stop: 09213), which is just after Isetan Scotts and opposite Far East Plaza.
After about 20 minutes of waiting for the 5.26pm bus, I decided to leave the bus stop to catch a Grab to Woodlands Checkpoint instead from Royal Plaza on Scotts to minimise the risk of missing the train, but the bus finally arrived at around 5.45pm, totally off schedule. I decided to continue with the bus since it would get me into the checkpoint directly and onwards to JB.
Queuing up to board the Transtar Cross Border Service TS8 bus. From Thong Teck Building, the fare is S$4 if paid by a normal adult EZ-Link card, or S$5 by cash. Do note that Transtar Cross Border does not accept any other forms of contactless payment other than normal adult EZ-Link cards.
You can also pre-purchase Transtar Cross Border tickets on Easybook.
Heading to find an empty seat on the upper deck of the very full bus.
My ticket for the Transtar Cross Border Service TS8 from Thong Teck Building to JB Sentral. As I did not have a normal normal adult EZ-Link card, I paid S$5 by cash.
The journey was rather fuss free via the PIE and BKE, with the usual jams before the checkpoint.
Immigration was rather crowded being a Friday night, but Singaporeans get a faster line at Woodlands Checkpoint.
Once down, those holding tickets can cut the queue of those at the bus holding area waiting to purchase a new ticket on the bus. The receipt-like ticket will be taken by a Transtar staff stationed at the bus bay upon boarding. Those holding tickets will be given priority to get on the bus. As such, if you are getting on the Transtar Cross Border at Woodlands Checkpoint, it is worthwhile to pre-purchase your ticket on Easybook to cut the perpetual line.
Sitting comfortably in the bus the moment I came down from immigration, skipping the snaking lines at Woodlands Checkpoint. The bus will get full to the brim on a Friday night.
The bus arrived at JB Sentral (Johor Bahru CIQ) at around 7.00pm, which is around 20 minutes behind schedule. But overall, a rather convenient way to get from Orchard to JB especially during the super peak hour.
Now, time to run to catch the 26up Ekspres Rakyat Timuran.