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Singapore-Malaysia land VTL: Bus tickets still available for first 30 days of travel, says MTI

SINGAPORE — Bus tickets are still available for the first 30 days of travel through the upcoming land vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a press release on Thursday night (Nov 25).

Travellers taking a chartered bus at the Woodlands Checkpoint in August 2020, under a Periodic Commuting Arrangement between Singapore and Malaysia.

Travellers taking a chartered bus at the Woodlands Checkpoint in August 2020, under a Periodic Commuting Arrangement between Singapore and Malaysia.

SINGAPORE — Bus tickets are still available for the first 30 days of travel through the upcoming land vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a press release on Thursday night (Nov 25).

The statement came after travellers experienced long waits and ticketing issues when bookings opened at 8am on Thursday.

Earlier in the morning, a message on the Transtar Travel website — one of two bus operators designated to serve this controlled travel scheme — stated that tickets for the next 30 days were sold out at about 8.20am, less than half an hour after bookings opened.

Subsequent checks on the website later showed that it was experiencing extremely high traffic as well as undergoing "emergency maintenance". CNA was able to buy a ticket at about 1pm, after waiting for about three hours in a virtual waiting room.

In the press release on Thursday night, MTI said that more than 90 per cent of Transtar Travel tickets to Singapore and 70 per cent of tickets to Malaysia were still available as of 4pm.

The quarantine-free travel scheme allows vaccinated travellers to hop between Singapore and Malaysia via the Causeway provided they book bus trips with two travel operators — Transtar Travel in Singapore and Handal Indah (also known as Causeway Link) in Malaysia.

TICKETS AND PASS APPLICATIONS

Transtar had sold about 4,400 bus tickets for this travel arrangement across a 30-day timeframe as of 4pm, MTI said. 

“About three-quarters of the tickets are for trips from Singapore to Malaysia, and the remaining one-quarter for trips from Malaysia to Singapore,” the ministry added.  

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in Singapore received a total of 240 vaccinated travel pass applications for this land crossing scheme as of 3pm, MTI said.

“Demand for the land VTL bus tickets and the volume of travel pass applications are likely to remain high, and processes will continue to be refined,” it added.

“We seek travellers’ understanding and patience, if there are any delays in the systems.”

MTI added that Singapore and Malaysia will “progressively expand the land VTL in a safe and calibrated manner”.

“All travellers should purchase their bus tickets and ensure that they have the necessary documents ready, before they board the designated VTL buses,” it added.

Malaysia and Singapore's land crossings for vaccinated commuters via the Causeway will start on Nov 29.

As part of the first phase, travellers will need to use the designated bus services. They must be citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders of the country they are entering.

There will be 32 designated bus services entering each country a day, with a maximum capacity of 45 "fully seated" passengers for each trip.

The daily quota for this arrangement will be about 2,880 travellers in total, with 1,440 passengers each way. CNA

For more reports like this, visit cna.asia

Related topics

Malaysia travel vaccination MTI Causeway bus

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