|Taking the bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru|
Last Friday we took bus # 170 from Kranji MRT to Larkin Bus Terminal at Johor Bahru - again!
Now the week before (Feb 6) when we caught the bus, it was not too bad, admittedly we left here (Bukit Batok) about 5.00pm ...... this week (Feb 13) we left later at around 6.00pm and I think that made a huge difference. We have learnt the hard way!
To take a "coach" as opposed to the local bus, one needs to take the MRT all the way to Lavender (not pronounced as in the flower, but as LAV-END-DOOR the emphasis on the LAV!) and catch the coach from there, for us that would mean at least 1.5 hours extra. So we take the train from Bukit Batok MRT to Kranji MRT. This takes about 10 minutes.
We alight at Kranji and step outside where we see bus 170 immediately, well perhaps what we actually see is the very long line of people waiting for bus 170 - as seen here:
Last week was the same, long lines of people waiting for bus 170 which actually starts from in the city and picks up passengers along the way until it reaches Kranji Rail Station and then continues on to the Larkin Bus Terminal in JB. The bus becomes over crowded to put it mildly. There would be at least 60 people on any one bus.
As one fills up, the next ones pulls in behind......
It is a very cheap way to get across to Johor Bahru, barely $2.00. But we have now decided it really is far too stressful to leave at 6.00pm. Too many people pushing and shoving. There are many people that live in JB and work in Singapore, hence the buses being so busy and overloaded.
It was a madhouse, they are bad enough on the MRT lines at any time of the day with all the pushing and shoving but the bus trip across to JB late on a Friday, it is much worse!!!
I do realise that everyone wants to "get home" adding to it is that is that it is a Friday night and it being a hot Friday night made it so much worse. Everyone was fairly OK until we passed thru immigration on the Singapore side, then there were hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of people trying to get on all the buses to go across the causeway...... last Friday night there was quite a wait for the 170 and many people started 'jumping the queue' and pushing their way to the front. It was very annoying to say the least....
others were making excuses to say they "had to go to the toilet" ..... what a load of garbage, they just wanted to be at the front of the queue!
The 'rows' for each bus queue is NOT clearly marked, especially when there are so many people everywhere it is difficult to know which 'lane' or 'row' you should be in. We had difficulty too, though we had been there the previous week, so had an idea of the area we were supposed to be in.
I watched these two young women trying to find the queue they should be in, they looked bewildered, looking here and there, they must have been visitors too ..... people were not offering to help or advise them, they were quite lost. Unfortunately it looked as though they were going to 'queue jump', when I think they were just trying to get to the front to ask someone for help......
anyway, this 'man' pushed them aside and started yelling at them, he kept pushing them out of the way and was very aggressive and abusive towards them.
No one helped, they were very frightened and moved away. John and I were horrified, but not surprised by this behaviour. This area that the buses pull into to pick up the passengers after going thru immigration, needs to be addressed and made safe and secure for all travelers.
It is a mess, obviously it is a simple process during the non busy part of the day, but on a Friday night when it is so busy....
it is bedlam.
We eventually take the bus across the causeway and go thru the customs and immigration on the Malaysian side. On leaving we were not looking forward to standing in the queue again for the next 170 bus to get us into JB.
But it was such a relief to see the area on the Malaysian side for the bus to pull into. No pushing, no shoving, no queue's, just a nice, quiet and orderly area to wait as seen here:
what a relief!!
and to give you an idea of timing, the whole trip last week from our home in Bukit Batok to the hotel in JB took 1.5 hours, this week it was over 2.5 hours. Leaving earlier must be the secret!