The JB-Singapore RTS Link:
Under the mutual agreement inked, the 4.2km Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link will have only two stations connecting both countries – the Singapore terminus will be located at the Woodlands North station (which will have a combined gross floor area approximately 10 times that of a typical MRT station) and the Malaysia terminus at the Bukit Chagar station. The CIQ (customs, immigration, quarantine) facilities of both countries will be co-located at the Woodlands North and Bukit Chagar stations, which means passengers only need to clear immigration authorities once - at their point of departure.
Upon completion, the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link will be the second rail link between the two countries after the KTM Intercity Shuttle Tebrau. The RTS Link is also expected to replace the railway line and shuttle train services between JB Sentral and Woodlands Train Checkpoint.
The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link aims to connect Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru city to Woodlands in Singapore, serving about 10,000 passengers per hour each way to help ease traffic congestion on the Causeway - with the waiting time for the trains expected to be about 4 minutes during peak, and 8 minutes during non-peak periods.
The RTS Link Woodlands North station will connect commuters to the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Woodlands North MRT station as well as a CIQ building. Once operational, the train will take five minutes to travel one way between Woodlands North station and Bukit Chagar station. It is expected to serve about 10,000 passengers per hour each way to help ease traffic congestion on the Causeway.
The completion of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link could have a positive influence in areas near the transit station especially on the Johor property market as well as the HDB flats and private residential homes located in Woodlands, Singapore.
The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link offers several benefits for commuters, businesses, and the overall connectivity between Johor Bahru and Singapore. Here are some of the potential advantages of the RTS Link:
- Reduced Travel Time: The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link aims to significantly reduce travel time between Johor Bahru and Singapore. The shuttle trains running on the dedicated rail line will provide a faster and more efficient mode of transportation, saving valuable time for commuters who regularly travel between the two cities.
- Enhanced Cross-Border Connectivity: The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link will enhance cross-border connectivity by providing a seamless and convenient transit option. Commuters will be able to avoid traffic congestion at land checkpoints, resulting in a smoother and more predictable travel experience.
- Increased Capacity: The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link will help alleviate the strain on existing border crossings by increasing the transportation capacity between Johor Bahru and Singapore. This will accommodate a larger volume of commuters and contribute to more efficient cross-border movement.
- Strengthened Economic Integration: The improved connectivity through the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link is expected to strengthen economic integration between Johor Bahru and Singapore. It will facilitate easier movement of people, goods, and services, fostering greater collaboration, trade, and business opportunities on both sides of the border.
- Boost to Tourism: The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link could have a positive impact on tourism in both Johor Bahru and Singapore. It will make it more convenient for tourists to explore attractions and destinations in both cities, promoting cross-border tourism and boosting the tourism industry in the region.
- Development and Investment Opportunities: The Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link has the potential to spur development and investment in areas near the transit stations. Improved connectivity often leads to increased property values and the development of supporting infrastructure and amenities, creating potential investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for residents.
Real estate professional Kiwi Lim believe the JB-Singapore RTS Link project has the potential to positively impact the property market in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and probably even Woodlands in Singapore, particularly in areas near the transit stations. The increased accessibility, connectivity and convenience provided by the RTS may attract some Singaporeans to relocate to Johor as the cheaper property prices and lower cost of living in Johor may appeal to some Singaporean investors and homebuyers.
"However, while the completion of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link could be a positive factor, the real estate market is influenced by many factors, including economic conditions, government policies, market sentiment, and overall demand and supply dynamics. Even though Malaysia remain fully committed to the delivery of Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link at this moment, possible political issues may arise to stall this project”" said Kiwi Lim
Generally speaking, a minimum purchase value of RM1 million is applied to all kinds of property in almost every Malaysian state including Johor (see above table), except for 3 states. Therefore, as a foreigner in Malaysia, we won’t be able to purchase the following:
- Bumi lots (Land reserved for Bumiputeras)
- Agricultural land (Exceptions can be made if the land is over 5 acres and will be used for commercial purposes)
- Malay reserved land (Land that can only be sold exclusively to Malays)
- Property with a valuation below RM 1 million
Take note, if you’re a Singaporean citizen and own an HDB flat, you will need to meet your Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) before you can buy property in Malaysia. Owning a property in Malaysia may also affect your buying of a HDB flat in Singapore.
Singaporeans who are looking to buy properties in Johor should conduct thorough research on the suitability of relocating to Johor, i.e. schools, safety of the neighborhood, etc. and consider various factors like currency fluctuations that may affect property values as well as political and market conditions in Malaysia. Remember to consider factors such as budget, loan, approved real estate, desired property type (apartment, landed house, etc.), size, amenities, and proximity to other essential facilities when searching for properties near the RTS Johor. It's also advisable to visit the area in person to get a better sense of the location and its surroundings before making any final decisions.
"It's important to note that even with the anticipated benefits of the JB-Singapore RTS Link project, as with any major infrastructure project, the actual impact and benefits may vary once the system is operational." said Kiwi.