Singapore to JB in 5 minutes by the KTM Shuttle

Some friends have been asking why we’ve been going to Johor Bahru (JB) so often this year. Besides the strong S$ that is on our favour where the exchange rate is close to 1SGD to 3MYR, another reason is because transportation is so convenient ever since we got a driver contact from a friend where he’ll drive us from our home to the hotel. This worked out well for us since we’ve sold our car and hubby need not get frustrated by the long jam at the causeway.

On our recent trip last month, we decided to take the Shuttle Tebrau, which is is operated by Malaysia’s Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) and to my utmost surprise, it takes only a grand total of 5 minutes!

Yes, you heard me right. Just 5 minutes from Singapore to JB.

No more frustrating traffic jams at the checkpoints and causeways where you have to deal with another, Mummy, are we there yet?!

Well, how did the journey go? Here’s our experience on how the train ride to JB went.
Tickets for the KTM Shuttle
Tickets for the KTM Shuttle can be bought online. And because we were planning to get tickets for a Friday morning, we had to purchase them one month in advance online, here. Alternatively, you can also purchase your tickets directly at the KTM office at the Woodlands Train Checkpoint building.
I’ve heard that since the shuttle service opened, it’s been popular to commuters who need to make their daily commute from Singapore to JB which is faster than the bus which can take anything from half an hour to 2 hours.

Train Schedule

Woodlands to JB: 8:00am, 10:00am, 1:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:45pm, 8:00pm, 8:45pm, 10:00pm and 11:15pm

JB to Woodlands: 5:30am, 6:00am, 6:30am, 7:00am, 8:30am,  9:00am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm, 9:00pm and 10:15pm

We choose the 10am train as the timing would be just nice for us to drop our luggage at the hotel and head out for lunch. Just in case you’re wondering, we stayed at Doubletree by Hilton which is close to JB Sentral and just across Komtar Mall and a mere 5 minutes walk away from City Square Mall.
We’ve been staying there on our past few visits and have enjoyed our stay very much. Their pool and gym facilities are great and this time we even got upgraded with access to the Executive Lounge.

Comparing ticket prices
Tickets for KTM – $5  from Singapore to JB and $5 from JB to Singapore.
Tickets for bus – $2 from Singapore to JB
Hired car – $150 return trip from Singapore to JB

The marked savings we enjoyed on our transport means more shopping for my JB trip. More assessment story books for Sophie from Popular!

Journey to JB on the KTM Shuttle

The KTM has a very strict no photography policy and we saw multiple notices that photography is prohibited. We didn’t want to risk flouting any rules so no photos on the blog to walk you through the experience.

To get to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint, we took an Uber from our home as we had luggage with us. It’s recommended that you arrive at Woodlands checkpoint 30 mins before your designated boarding time.

There was a jam due to heavy traffic in the morning and we nearly wanted to get off the cab and get there by foot. Thankfully, we still had 10 minutes before boarding and the queue moved pretty fast after a short wait.


Woodlands Train Checkpoint


After we presented our tickets and passport for boarding, we had to go through immigration for both Singapore and Malaysia as well as Customs at Woodlands Train Checkpoint. This is how they speed up the clearance for passengers on the KTM so you don’t have to repeat it once you’re in JB.

There were about 5 lanes opened and we were onto the train platform in about 20 minutes. I also found out from the officer that Sophie can start using the automated line after she turns 7 years old, so I’m definitely making a new passport for her soon.

It’s all free seating but if you want to get out of the train fast, then go for the middle cabin. On our journey there, our cabin was the ‘older’ and more run down section and the seats looked rather shabby. Which gives it a very retro and nostalgic vibe. I’m just thankful that the train ride is no more than 5 minutes.

Thankfully on our journey back, we managed to get seats in the revamped section of the train which didn’t look so grubby. Anyway, photos are okay inside the train so we decided to snap some photos while waiting for the rest of the passengers to board.
KTM Shuttle 01
KTM Shuttle 02

Fooling around while waiting for other passengers to board

KTM Shuttle 03

KTM Shuttle 04

Return trip with nicer looking seats

KTM Shuttle 06

Sun setting as we headed back home

As promised, we arrived in JB Sentral in 5 minutes without any long jams and it was all over too soon. Overall we were satisfied by the pleasant journey via the KTM Shuttle and would definitely take it again especially if we plan to put up at Doubletree by Hilton given the proximity to the train station.

Anyway the reason for us taking a trip up this time was to celebrate Sophie’s 7th birthday. But the poor birthday girl fell ill on the first night and we didn’t go to many places which we planned.

 Thankfully, the little tropper was still in good spirits and we managed to go to the malls where she got to buy more Geronimo Stilton storybooks where it was going at a good discount at Harris bookshop’s relocation sale in Jusco Tebrau City Shopping Center.

KTM Shuttle 07

KTM Shuttle 08
KTM Shuttle 09
If you’re planning to head to Johor Bahru, here are some of my recommendations on where to stay, eat and shop.

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Comments: 34

  1. Lyn Lee August 23, 2016 at 9:40 am Reply

    I might try this soon too! There’s probably still the usual immigration queue but skipping the crazy jam is certainly something to look forward to!

    • Susan August 24, 2016 at 8:23 am Reply

      Clearing immigration was also quite fast. I would say less than 15 minutes for sure.

  2. Joyce Tan August 23, 2016 at 10:35 am Reply

    This sounds good! Will try this! Found a url abt this

    • Susan August 24, 2016 at 8:24 am Reply

      Cool, thanks!

  3. CE August 23, 2016 at 11:02 am Reply

    We just went to the Angry Bird Park via this train. It’s so convenient and sheltered all the way 🙂

    • Susan August 24, 2016 at 8:24 am Reply

      Yes, super convenient if you’re planning to go to City Square Mall or Komtar.

  4. Madeline Heng August 23, 2016 at 4:40 pm Reply

    Woo my colleagues and I are going to JB too, can consider this mode of transport! =)

  5. Evelyn F September 20, 2016 at 10:45 am Reply

    Thanks babe for the tips! Was trying to find an easy yet interesting way to go JB as I haven’t been there for about 3 years + bringing foreigner friends over 🙂 I’ll check out the train tixs soon (getting for next weekend and hope they have some!) Will share with you on our experience x

  6. Li theng November 15, 2016 at 10:19 pm Reply

    Hi Susan,
    I will be going JB legoland with my family this coming Dec. And will be staying in Somerset Medini Nusajaya. We are a group of 4 adults and 1 kid.

    Can I have your contact of the driver who ferries you and your family from Singapore to
    JB and back to singapore? Thanks

    • Susan December 5, 2016 at 11:45 pm Reply

      Hi Li Theng, I’ve sent you his contact via email.

  7. jamiejo November 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm Reply

    can I know the driver contact number from singapore to johor?
    thank you so much!!

    • Susan December 5, 2016 at 11:44 pm Reply

      Hi Jamie, I’ve sent you his contact via email.

  8. Lidya W November 28, 2016 at 9:05 am Reply

    Thank you Susan for your post. I tried it about 10 days ago. It is very convenient now to cross Woodlands JB. Even when not peak times it is preferable to use the shuttle then car or bus IMHO.

    • Susan November 29, 2016 at 9:36 pm Reply

      It’s a shame that the tickets can’t be purchased online from Dec 2016 onwards and you have to purchase them in person one day in advance.

  9. […] Singapore to JB in 5 minutes by the KTM Shuttle – Our best kept secret! […]

  10. farah December 19, 2016 at 10:51 am Reply

    Hi, can I have the contact number for the driver please

    • Susan December 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm Reply

      Hi Farah, I’ve sent it to you via email 🙂

  11. […] Woodlands train station, Singapore – photo by Susain via Singapore to JB in 5 minutes by the KTM Shuttle […]

  12. ERIC CHONG January 22, 2017 at 5:11 pm Reply

    The reason you cannot take pictures at Woodlands Train Checkpoint, is because it is not a train station but a CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) checkpoint. So, it’s not a KTMB policy, but Singapore Customs policy

  13. Mei Foong January 26, 2017 at 12:33 pm Reply

    Can I know the driver contact number?
    Thanks. 🙂

    • Susan February 6, 2017 at 11:10 pm Reply

      Hi Mei Foong,
      I’ve dropped you an email with the driver’s contact.

  14. Rameez February 15, 2017 at 8:34 pm Reply

    I see a website which allows us to book train tickets still. Have a look.

  15. azzesdames February 21, 2017 at 5:13 pm Reply

    Hi susan, can i have a contact for the driver as ill be travelling with 2 elderly and a toddler, thanks

    • Susan February 23, 2017 at 8:11 am Reply

      Sure, I’ve dropped you an email.

  16. fhen February 28, 2017 at 9:45 pm Reply

    Hi tickets require a passport?

    • Susan March 4, 2017 at 12:58 pm Reply

      Yes passport is required.

  17. May March 7, 2017 at 3:42 pm Reply

    Hi Susan, can I have the driver contact please? Thanks!

    • Susan March 9, 2017 at 10:36 pm Reply

      I’ve emailed my driver’s contact to you May. Do check our mailbox.

  18. Jason March 22, 2017 at 9:55 pm Reply

    Hello ! Good read here,
    Yknow, I heard that KTM have shut down their online ticketing option..
    So does your link actually still work to buy their tickets ?

    • Susan March 27, 2017 at 10:00 pm Reply

      They have resumed the online ticketing, so the link works 🙂

  19. […] Singapore to JB in 5 minutes by the KTM Shuttle – Our best kept secret! […]

  20. Karen April 9, 2017 at 10:31 am Reply

    Hi Susan, i like reading your blog and especially love exploring Malaysia (easier on my pocket for a family of 4). Both my kids love taking train too. May i know usually how do you explore other areas like going to Jusco Tebrau City or going to legoland from double tree hilton?

    • Susan April 10, 2017 at 12:59 pm Reply

      We have been taking Grab in JB. Just need to get data and then change it to a local Malaysian number for it to work in JB. Pretty good experience so far and hubby feels it’s safer too as everything from journey and price is tracked on the app as we need horror stories of getting a cab.

      • Karen April 10, 2017 at 1:47 pm Reply

        Thanks for sharing Susan

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