RTS Link: From Woodlands to Johor in Just 5 Minutes

AsiaOne
AsiaOne

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Say goodbye to long traffic jams and tiresome immigration checkpoints at the Causeway.

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Artist’s impression of Entrance A of RTS Link Woodlands North Station. (LTA)

When the Rapid Transit System Link (RTS) opens for service at the end of 2026, it will take commuters a mere five minutes to travel between Singapore and Johor Bahru.

With co-located immigration facilities and a high capacity of up to 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction, the RTS Link is a definite game changer. You can expect significant improvements in connectivity between Singapore and Johor Bahru.

Expect fast and seamless travel with the RTS Link

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) marked the start of the Johor Bahru-Singapore RTS Link construction in Singapore, which was officiated by Minister for Transport, Ong Ye Kung during the groundbreaking ceremony held on 22 January.

The seamless travel will be further bolstered by co-located Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities at Woodlands North and Bukit Chagar stations, where passengers need only clear the immigration authorities once.

Commuters travelling in either direction will clear both Singapore and Malaysia authorities at the point of departure and need not go through immigration clearance again at the point of arrival. Exactly what this will comprise, and how security is guaranteed, is something that will come to clarity on a later date.

RTS Link Woodlands North Station will be linked to TEL MRT station via underpass

Constructed underground at a maximum depth of 28 metres, The RTS Link Woodlands North Station and CIQ facilities will be about 10 times the size of a typical MRT station.

There will be three stories, with two basement levels, and an underground linkway to the CIQ building. These facilities will be adjacent to the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Woodlands North MRT station and connected via an underground concourse.

The RTS Link will transit from the underground Woodlands North Station to the above-ground Bukit Chagar station via a 25-metre high viaduct across the Straits of Johor.

With plans to integrate RTS Link stations and local transport networks, Woodlands is set to become a major growth hub in the North, much like Tampines in the East and Jurong in the West.

Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said, “In the coming years, Woodlands will be revamped, revitalised and rejuvenated. There will be a new buzz here… and the RTS Link when operational will serve as a key gateway to all these exciting developments.”

After multiple delays, RTS Link construction has finally begun

Across the Causeway, Malaysian officials have already broken ground and began construction of the Bukit Chagar station last November.

Thomas the train
GIPHY

First agreed upon in 2010 between Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong and then-Malaysian PM Najib Razak with a targeted completion date in 2018, the Project has gone through many delays since, including a suspension at the request of Malaysia on 1 April 2019.

The RTS Link Project finally resumed last July during a jointly held ceremony by Singapore and Malaysia.

Both sides discussed and agreed on some key changes to the RTS Link Project such as the use of a standalone Light Rail Transit (LRT) System, instead of leveraging on the TEL MRT systems.

They have also agreed on a separate government-appointed infrastructure company (InfraCo) to fund, build, own, maintain, and renew the civil infrastructure and stations in its territory up to the international boundary.

While Malaysia has changed its InfraCo from Prasarana Malaysia Bhd to Malaysia Rapid Transit System Sdn Bhd, the Land Transport Authority remains as Singapore’s InfraCo.

Say goodbye to causeway jams in the future

Not only will the cross border shuttle link ease much of the traffic congestion on the Causeway, it will also surely bring social and economic benefits to commuters on both ends.

Although COVID-19 pandemic has dashed our hopes for weekend getaway plans to JB, construction of the RTS Link certainly leaves us eagerly anticipating a more convenient and efficient cross border travel come 2026.

 

Join the conversations on THG’s Facebook and Instagram, and get the latest updates via Telegram.

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