Singapore is a small country with an efficient public transportation system coupled with a range of taxi offerings. Getting around is not an issue as long as you are ready to bear the frustrations of peak time travel.
The MRT system
The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is the best way of travelling around Singapore. The network is very well developed and covers a very large portion of the island. The stations are accessible to wheelchair users as well as strollers with escalators and lifts taking you from ground to rail in no time. The trains are air-conditioned and in a pristine state. Of course, you are expected to contribute to the cleanliness of the trains and stations by not eating and drinking on board. Singaporeans are also particularly respectful towards the elderly and commuters religiously give away their seats when required.
Paper tickets are available for single rides and can be bought from automatic vending machines at the stations. To limit the use of paper, discounts are offered if you re-use your single travel tickets a number of times. However, if you plan to travel frequently, it might be worthwhile to invest in a long-term card from EZ-Link. The card can be topped up online and can help avoid long queues at the stations. If you are in Singapore for a few days or if you generally only travel for bundled periods of time, you can purchase a Singapore tourist pass. This allows unlimited travel for one, two or three days. The cards can be purchased both at some MRT stations, including the Changi Airport station.
There is an excellent offering of taxis in Singapore, so if your MRT ride still leaves you some distance away from your destination or if you want to arrive fresh at some of the upscale nightclubs and eateries of the country, rest assured. Taxi stands permeate the country and many can be found close to shopping malls and hotels. If not, you can also hail a taxi. In general, you will find the experience of riding a taxi very pleasant. In many parts of the world, taxi drivers do not exactly enjoy a stellar reputation, but in Singapore drivers tend to be courteous and helpful.
Note that taxis in the country are metered. You can also order taxis using UBER or the very popular app GRAB. Taxi rides through apps are surprisingly cheap, especially if you decide to share the ride with other travellers. Given the small size and demand density in Singapore, ridesharing does not generally lengthen your travel time by substantial amounts, so if you have a bit of time, why not enjoy a discount and a small detour?
Buses are the most economical way of travelling across Singapore. Travellers accustomed to London double-deckers will feel no homesickness in Singapore and will also find buses in more pristine conditions. The bus network is comprehensive and you can pay either with an EZ card, a tourist pass or in cash. However, if you pay cash, you need to make sure that you hold the exact change for your ride. Importantly, buses are air-conditioned and will often provide a pleasant respite from the humidity!
Buses generally run from 06:30 to 23:30 throughout the week with reduced frequencies during the weekend and public holidays. However, special services are put in place during festivals to ensure the continuity of operations. For more details on the operating hours for specific buses, as well as detailed information on stops, please consult the SBS Transit timetable.
Car rental in Singapore
Driving in Singapore is an expensive affair. This is largely due to the high taxes on vehicle ownership imposed by the government in an effort to manage the number of cars crammed into the roads of the country. However, if you still wish to drive, major international rental outlets such as Avis and Sixt operate in Singapore.
Travelling further out
One of Singapore’s greatest assets is that it is located in one of the most exciting and diverse parts of the world. The Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand are only a few hours away, so why not make the most of your stay in Singapore? Singapore Airlines offers an extensive Asian network and enjoys a great reputation in terms of quality, but there are also many cheaper options such as TigerAir, Scoot and AirAsia which can take you to a beach for less than a hundred Singapore Dollars. Singapore’s Changi Airport is also very well served by a wide range of international airlines, and is truly one of Asia’s most important hubs.
SBS Transit www.sbstransit.com.sg
SMRT Buses www.smrt.com.sg
Comfort Del Gro Bus www.comfortdelgrobus.com.sg
Hin Hup Bus Service www.bus.com.sg
SMRT Metro www.smrt.com.sg
City Cab www.cdgtaxi.com.sg
Transcab Services www.transcabservices.com.sg
Singapore Airlines www.singaporeair.com
Changi Airport www.changiairport.com
Alpine Car Rental www.alpinecarrental.com.sg