Why traffic jams occur at the Malaysia-Singapore border and how to avoid them

The governments of Johor and Singapore are actively working to resolve the longstanding traffic congestion problem at the Malaysia-Singapore border. (Photo: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

Written by Min Ha-ni

So close, yet so far away. Malaysian Li Jiaying describes her daily commute from Johor to Singapore.

The 28-year-old from Taman Seri Tebrau has been working as a marketing executive at a Singaporean company since late 2019.

And she said she had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. every weekday to leave home on time and be at her Toa Payoh job by 9 a.m.

“When people find out that I work in Singapore, they only think about how much money I make. Of course, the pay is good, but I don’t think they spend as much time on the road as I do. “Sometimes I wonder if it’s a good idea,” Lee confessed.

“I can’t remember the last time I socialized. When I get home from work around 9 or 10 p.m., I just want to sleep. It’s so tiring.”

Mr Lee is one of the 350,000 commuters from Johor who have to pass through the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex every day to enter Singapore for work. be.

This means she is one of the many people who are often stuck in hours-long traffic jams on the kilometer-long causeway.

To be clear, the Johor and Singapore governments have worked hard to rectify the long-standing problem of traffic congestion.

Various measures have been introduced, including installing more electronic gates for passport checks, expanding and improving bike lanes, and merging counters at government agencies.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Ong Hafiz Ghazi also recently announced the allocation of RM40 million (S$11.7 million) from the Ministry of Works to improve road conditions in the state, with a further RM500 million to improve the north-south expressway. It was announced that the area would be set aside for road widening. There is also Desaru, a beach destination connected to the highway.

And, of course, there are plans for the introduction of a “single clearance system” at land checkpoints, as well as the upcoming introduction of Rapid Transit System (RTS) rail shuttles.

Will RTS rail solutions change the game?

Scheduled to become operational in 2026, the RTS Link aims to connect Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru to Woodlands in Singapore, carrying approximately 10,000 passengers per hour each way.

This is expected to significantly reduce traffic congestion on the causeway.

But while expectations are high, commuters are also concerned about the cost above all else.

Naim Ahmad, a Malaysian working in Malaysia, said, “I’m really excited about RTS.It would be too expensive to move to Singapore and taking the ferry would burn a hole in my pocket, so I hope it won’t be too expensive.” “I’m working on it,” he said. Digital his marketing in the island nation.

On the other hand, experts believe that RTS provides only one solution to existing problems.

And before you think about anything else, it may be helpful to realize that immigration and security screening can be speeded up by systems that streamline the process.

Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (Photo: Land Transport Authority Singapore/Facebook)Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (Photo: Land Transport Authority Singapore/Facebook)

Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (Photo: Land Transport Authority Singapore/Facebook)

analytical ability

“The current process is based on the number of people regardless of mode of transport. Therefore, it may be easier to manage people walking or queuing rather than people commuting by car,” said Datuk Professor Ahmad Farhan. Dr. Mohd Sadullah said.

“We also do not know if a capacity analysis of the current facility was performed to evaluate different configurations (that could provide higher efficiency) within the available space.”

If the process can be proven to be better for pedestrians, for example, then what is needed is for officials to improve it, said the professor of transportation research at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)’s Department of Civil Engineering. Public transportation options.

“My view is that there are many ways to alleviate the current situation. (But) first we need to understand the demand profile of commuters and their demand behavior.

“Different scenarios can be tested to assess time performance, practicality and cost, and these need to be done comprehensively and collaboratively,” said Professor Ahmad Farhan.

“A more efficient ferry system away from current locations could help disperse crowds and also alleviate capacity issues.”

Currently, two ferry services operate between Tanah Merah and Desaru Coast, and between Tanah Merah and Tanjung Berngkor.

And just a few months ago, the Johor state government proposed an additional service between Tuas and Kota Iskandar.

However, little follow-up research has been conducted since then.

Still, the situation seems to be improving little by little.

For example, Menteri Besar on Hafiz recently said that traffic jam times at the Causeway and Second Link have already been reduced by about two hours thanks to a new decentralized system.

And with hundreds more immigration officers set to be deployed at checkpoints in the south, the measures mentioned above will help commuters, experts, politicians and others all hope that congestion at the Johor-Singapore border will be reduced. , it seems that the problem is finally being resolved, albeit gradually. It’s being resolved.

Menteri Besar on Hafiz said the new decentralized system will reduce travel time on the Causeway and Second Link by two hours.Menteri Besar on Hafiz said the new decentralized system will reduce travel time on the Causeway and Second Link by two hours.

Menteri Besar on Hafiz said the new decentralized system will reduce travel time on the Causeway and Second Link by two hours. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Hsu)

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