February 14, 2018
Waiting sucks. It’s something we’re all used to as Singaporeans. Queuing is somewhat of a national sport. But waiting sucks even more when you’re trying to leave the country, especially when you’re going somewhere as near as Johor Bahru (JB).
Throw in the fact that the Causeway is one of the most crossed borders in the world, and things can get pretty messy, like this:
Woodland Checkpoint (Photo: The Straits Times)
Tuas Checkpoint (Photo: The Straits Times)
But as horrible as the jams are on a regular day, delays get even worse on public holidays, including Chinese New Year, where traffic is expected to build up between now and Feb 20, according to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA).
Nevertheless, there are ways to beat the traffic situation, and they don’t involve leaving a day or two earlier.
It’s quick, easy to use, and predicts exactly how long you’ll take to reach Johor or Singapore, using a combination of Google Maps Data and traffic cameras. The app not only gives you forecasts of the week’s traffic, but will also provide you with exchange rates, fuel prices, toll fees, and even VEP fees.
If you have Telegram (Google Play, App Store), check out @ShiokBot. Besides informing you of ride promos for Uber/Grab, train breakdown alerts, and the latest weather reports, the bot will provide you with the latest traffic images for the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoints.
Another way to skip ahead of the crowd is to apply for an MACS (Malaysian Automated Clearance System) pass. Basically, it’s a pass that helps you clear the lengthy immigration queue before everyone else. Applicants can apply for one for $35 at the MACS branch counter in Singapore.
Want to avoid this, right? (Photo: The Straits Times)
And contrary to popular belief, busing over to JB isn’t the cheapest way to cross the causeway. Train tickets are pretty cheap too, depending on the class of travel. Plus, you definitely won’t get stuck in a jam here. Just pray your hardest that an MRT-style breakdown won’t happen. Now that would really be disastrous.
If all else fails, you can always skip the CNY weekend and choose alternative dates. Malaysia isn’t going to run away after all. But if visiting relatives is your priority or you’re only free during this period, then well, these tips are your best bet! Happy Causeway crossing folks!
Cover image: Business Insider
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