SINGAPORE: Here’s some good news for Malaysians making the commute to Singapore: the country’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke has said that a flat rate of RM5 (S$1.45) is being considered for a one-way ticket on the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad’s (KTMB) Shuttle Tebrau train from Woodlands in Singapore to Johor Bahru beginning from next year.

Currently, it costs commuters S$5 (RM17.30), while the trip from Johor Bahru to Woodlands is RM5 (S$1.45). Mr Loke said that the railway company proposed the change in fares so there would be no more price difference. “KTMB has proposed to change the pricing structure of the tickets for our citizens as currently; the price is different for a ticket from Johor to Singapore and a ticket from Singapore to Johor. It was proposed that we set a single price of RM5 each way for our citizens.”

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Mr Loke, at a press conference after the Johor DAP convention on Sunday (Dec 10), said that the suggestion had been a welcome one that will be discussed with the Land Public Transport Agency.  “We hope it can be done by early next year,” he added.

He noted the high volume of people who use the shuttle daily, saying that it has around 10,000 passengers. Mr Loke added that because KTMB is a local company, there is no need to discuss the change in price with Singapore.

Mr Loke was also asked whether the operations of Shuttle Tebrau will continue after the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link project becomes operational, which is predicted to be by early 2027.

He said there was time enough to discuss the matter with Singapore, as it is still at least three years before the RTS project will launch.

The Transport Minister had told Parliament in October that the Shuttle Tebrau train continuing issue would be discussed with Singapore, given that it had been agreed under a previous bilateral agreement that Shuttle Tebrau operations would end six months after the RTS Link is finished.

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This is also an issue that Workers’ Party MP Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC) recently asked Singapore’s Ministry of Transport. Continuing the shuttle’s services would enable an alternative cross-border travel option, Mr Chua said in a Facebook post on Nov 27. He wrote that the KTM Shuttle Tebrau brings Singaporeans to JB for less than S$5 in a five-minute trip. Tickets for the shuttle are largely sold out on weekends and holidays. /TISG