JOHOR BARU, May 1 – The resumption of cross-border taxi services between Singapore and Malaysia today, after approximately two years of suspension of operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is a blessing and a gift for drivers in taxi from both countries.
After being unable to win for so long, they are now busy transporting passengers from the Larkin Sentral bus station here.
Arshad Abdul Jalal described the moment as a blessing before Syawal as the problem of applying for a permit to travel to Singapore that they were facing before was solved.
“Just at midnight, we have already started picking up passengers here and also in Singapore. After two years without being able to enter Singapore, today is the first day that we will resume our operations.
“Alhamdulillah, with the announcement, I am grateful as the process of getting a permit for Singapore is taking time, but thanks to all parties the borders have reopened…the extreme joy is indescribable,” said the 56-year-old driver, who has been driving for five years, said Bernama at the Larkin Sentral bus terminal here today.
Singaporean taxi driver. Hanif Mahbob, 69, also said he was delighted that the resumption of cross-border travel gave him the opportunity to meet his taxi friends.
“Alhamdulillah, I am very happy to be able to meet my friends in Johor. After two years of driving only in Singapore, now that I can enter Johor, I feel excited,” said Hanif, a 38-year-old taxi veteran.
Meanwhile, Larkin Sentral Building Manager Mohd Helmi Mohd Affendi said bus and taxi services across the Johor Baru-Singapore border started operating simultaneously from bus stations from today. today.
He added that three bus companies, SBS Transit, Singapore Johore Express and Causewaylink were currently operating, with the first bus service starting at 5:20 a.m. and the last trip at 12:30 a.m.
“Cross-border buses make around 100 trips a day and this is expected to increase in the second week,” he said.
Mohd Helmi said there were around 60 Johor Baru-Singapore taxi drivers, of which around 30 are starting operations today, while the rest are still in the process of renewing licenses and getting ministry approval. transport singaporean.
“However, we expect the number of cross-border taxis to increase over time,” he explained.
Checks carried out by Bernama at Johor Causeway revealed that traffic from early morning until midday was congested and vehicles were moving slowly from Singapore to Johor Baru.
Further checks at the Permaisuri Zarith Sofiah opera house, which faces the causeway, revealed that vehicles were almost at a standstill due to the increased volume of traffic entering Malaysia.
Several individuals were also spotted crossing the Singapore causeway at the Sultan Iskandar Building (BSI) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex in Bukit Chagar for last-minute shopping in Aidilfitri. — Bernama