Transport in Singapore

Transport in Singapore
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Updated 2022-06-01 14:24

Singapore is a small country with an efficient public transportation system coupled with a range of taxi offerings. Getting around isn't an issue as long as you're ready to bear the frustrations of peak-time travel.

The MRT System

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is the best way of traveling 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 elevators taking you from ground to rail in no time. The trains are air-conditioned and in a pristine state. Of course, you're expected to contribute to the cleanliness of the trains and stations by not eating and drinking onboard. Singaporeans are also particularly respectful towards the elderly and commuters religiously give away their seats when required.

Paper tickets used to be available for single rides and could be bought from automatic vending machines at the stations. However, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) phased out the sale of paper tickets and ended it in March 2022. This was to be more eco-friendly, especially since most commuters were already using contactless bank cards and stored value cards for travel. As a result of this change, the LTA lowered the minimum top-up amounts for stored value cards to S$2, S$10 for adults, and S$5 for student concession cards. Tourists can still buy tickets by using contactless Visa and MasterCard bank cards, mobile wallets, or buying a stored value card or Singapore Tourist Pass.

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. If you're in Singapore for a few days or if you generally only travel for bundled periods of time, you can purchase the aforementioned 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.

Taxis

There's 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'll find the experience of riding a taxi very pleasant. In many parts of the world, taxi drivers don't 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 GoJek or the very popular app GRAB. Taxi rides through apps are surprisingly cheap, especially if you decide to share the ride with other travelers. Given the small size and demand density in Singapore, ridesharing doesn't 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

Buses are the most economical way of traveling across Singapore. Travelers 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 cash. However, if you pay cash, you need to make sure that you hold the exact change for your ride. Also, note that there are higher fares if you use cash. 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 onto the roads of the country. However, if you still wish to drive, major international rental outlets such as Avis and Sixt operate in Singapore.

Traveling further out

One of Singapore's greatest assets is that it's located in one of the most exciting and diverse parts of the world. The Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia, and 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 Scoot and AirAsia, that 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.

Useful links:

SBS Transit

SMRT

ComfortDelGro Bus

Hin Hup Bus Service

City Cab

Transcab Services

Singapore Airlines

Changi Airport

Sixt

Hertz

Avis

Alpine Car Rental

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.