Johor Receives S$48 Million Boost to Alleviate Causeway Congestion: New Walkway and M-Bike Lanes on the Horizon

Singapore and Johor Bahru, neighbouring cities separated by the iconic Causeway and the Second Link Crossing, have long grappled with traffic congestion at these vital entry points.

In a move to address this issue and facilitate smoother travel for millions of commuters, Malaysia has allocated a significant budget of S$48 million (RM168.7 million) to accommodate the world’s busiest border checkpoint. 

As part of the comprehensive plan, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof also announced the introduction of new initiatives and incentives for immigration officers.

A traffic jam on the Causeway towards Malaysia on Dec 22, 2018 / Straits Times Photo

Four Strategic Measures to Relieve Congestion

Malaysia’s plan to ease congestion at its entry points consists of four key measures, each strategically designed to enhance the experience of travellers passing through the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) complexes.

1. Automated Border Control Systems (M-Bike Lanes)

The cornerstone of these improvements is the construction of 77 automated border control systems, commonly known as M-Bike lanes. 

These dedicated lanes, designed for motorcyclists, will significantly expedite the clearance process. With a total cost of RM61.7 million (S$17.8 million), this substantial investment aims to streamline border crossings.

Sultan Iskandar Building CIQ: Forty-four M-Bike lanes will be introduced at this bustling crossing, reducing wait times and enhancing the overall flow of traffic.

Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar (KSAB) CIQ: The second major crossing in Iskandar Puteri will receive 33 M-Bike lanes, ensuring that both major entry points are equipped to handle increased traffic efficiently.

2. Infrastructure Upgrades at KSAB

Recognising the need for comprehensive improvements, Malaysia will invest RM106.9 million (S$30.8 million) in building halls, upgrades, and new projects at the KSAB CIQ. 

These enhancements will not only enhance passenger experience but also provide more space and resources for efficient operations.

3. Covered Pedestrian Walkway

For pedestrians, a covered walkway along the Causeway is in the works.

This development will offer protection from the elements and enhance the overall comfort and safety of those crossing on foot.

4. Incentives for Immigration Department Officers

To ensure seamless operations and bolster service quality, Immigration Department officers on land duty will receive incentives.

Malaysia has earmarked RM7.93 million (S$2.2 million) annually for these incentives, underlining the commitment to efficient border operations.

Source: Malay Mail

Preparing for Increased Travel

The motivation behind these upgrades is the expected surge in travellers crossing the Malaysia-Singapore land borders. 

Datuk Seri Fadillah anticipates a yearly increase of 15%, with the number of travellers reaching a staggering 157 million by 2025.

In recent times, the crossings have seen approximately 98 million travellers, a figure expected to return to pre-pandemic levels, approaching 136 million by the end of this year.

Future Plans

In addition to these initiatives, there are discussions to extend incentives to Immigration Department officers in Sabah and Sarawak, further optimising the travel experience beyond just the Singapore-Johor borders. 

Enhancing Connectivity for All

These measures signify a significant step forward in addressing the long-standing issue of congestion at the Singapore-Johor Bahru border crossings.

As the two nations continue to strengthen their ties and with the number of travellers set to soar in the coming years, these improvements will undoubtedly ease the way for those who rely on these crossings for their daily commutes and travel.

By investing in advanced infrastructure, providing incentives for immigration officers, and constructing a covered walkway, Malaysia is demonstrating its commitment to facilitating a more convenient and efficient travel experience for all, making cross-border journeys smoother and more pleasant for everyone.

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