The Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) prepare service between Johor Bahru and Woodlands restarted on Sunday (June 19) after being suspended for greater than two years as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
The resumption of the service was welcomed by commuters, who mentioned travelling by prepare is quicker and extra handy than taking a bus or going by automobile.
Ms Elaine Ng, 33, who stayed up previous 3am on June 13 to safe tickets to JB the second they went on sale, mentioned she prefers taking the prepare as a result of it beats getting caught in highway visitors on the Causeway.
“After I went to JB by bus final month on a Saturday morning, it took about three hours for me to get there due to how busy it was,” mentioned Ms Ng, who’s a logistics supervisor.
One other commuter, 44-year-old healthcare employee Stephanie Lee, mentioned one perk of taking the prepare was not having to get up early within the morning to beat the gang on the Woodlands checkpoint.
“With tickets purchased prematurely, we simply should arrive earlier than boarding time and we’re assured a seat,” she mentioned.
Ms Lee added that immigration clearance can also be sooner because the passport is stamped by each Singapore and Malaysian officers earlier than commuters board the prepare.
“So it saves time from having to undergo immigration twice (which occurs when) you’re taking a bus,” she mentioned.
Also called the Tebrau Shuttle, the prepare service was suspended on March 24, 2020, to curb the unfold of the coronavirus.
It now runs 31 journeys each day – with 18 from JB Sentral to Woodlands and 13 from Woodlands to JB Sentral. Every journey takes about 5 minutes.
Trains to JB run from 8.30am to 11.45pm, whereas these to Woodlands run from 5am to 10.45pm.
Round 7,000 passengers are anticipated to make use of the service each day, with journey capability at 320 passengers.
The ticket prices $5 for a visit from Woodlands to JB, and RM5 (S$1.60) from JB to Woodlands. They’re offered a couple of month prematurely.
As compared, the cross-border bus providers run by SMRT and Transtar Journey value about $2.
Tickets for widespread time slots across the weekends, like Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, have largely offered out, based on the KTM web site.
When The Straits Instances arrived on the Woodlands Prepare Checkpoint round 9am, there was a line of about 50 commuters ready to board the 9.45am prepare.
Amongst them was Mr Tay Kai Xian, a 26-year-old monetary threat guide, who was visiting Malaysia for the primary time for the reason that pandemic.
“It is extra handy now as we do not have to hold bodily tickets with us. We solely want to indicate our passports to board the prepare,” he mentioned.
Those that had taken the prepare beforehand mentioned it has been refurbished and appears cleaner than earlier than.
Ms S. H. Wan, 32, an accountant who returned to Singapore after visiting her household in JB, mentioned: “The prepare seems to be new and I felt very snug in it.”
She added: “Although virtually all of the seats had been occupied, it is nonetheless a lot much less crowded than taking the bus.”
Mr S. T. Liang, a 42-year-old venture supervisor within the gaming trade, mentioned his prepare to Woodlands was delayed for about 25 to half-hour.
“Our prepare was speculated to depart at 10am however we had been informed that there have been some technical points. It stunned me as a result of right now is the primary day the prepare service is resuming, so the whole lot ought to run easily,” he mentioned.
“We now have youngsters with us, so it was barely inconvenient, however apart from that, immigration processes had been very clean.”
Many commuters informed ST that they are going to make extra frequent journeys to Malaysia now that the prepare service has restarted.
Ms Nuraishah Hamza, 37, who used to go to JB as soon as a month earlier than the pandemic, mentioned she may resume doing so.
“It is very handy – we will skip the snaking queues to cross the Causeway and immigration (clearance) can also be sooner,” mentioned Ms Hamza, who’s a civil servant.
“A buying journey or staycation is only a prepare journey away.”