Getting around Singapore

Singapore has one of the best transport systems in the world so getting around the city-state is a simple affair. Combined with Singapore’s small size, travelling is extremely convenient. There are many options to travel around Singapore ranging from taxis to buses.

A more convenient way to see the city, however, is by taking the MRT trains which are seamlessly connected to the city’s entire transport network.

Taking the MRT train from Changi International Airport has become a popular option for tourists and backpackers as it is a quick and cheap way to travel to the heart of the city. From the MRT stations, you can simply hop on the buses and taxis.

MRT train in Singapore

The MRT system is a fast, affordable and modern way to travel around most parts of Singapore including its downtown core area. Most of the MRT stations are seamless connected to shopping malls and are within walking distance to places of attraction.

Over the past few years, existing MRT stations have been upgraded to include barrier free access and lifts, making using them even more convenient , especially if you have a luggage or baby prams in tow.

There are four main lines serving the entire MRT network. The North South Line runs from Marina Bay Station to Jurong East Station via Woodlands Station, and the East West Line runs from Pasir Ris Station to Boon Lay Station. Tourists heading to the airport or the Singapore Expo must take the East West line and then transfer to the Singapore Changi Airport Express at Tanah Merah Station.

The North East Line runs from Harbourfront Station to Punggol Station with transfers at Dhoby Ghaut station or Outram Park station. From Harbourfront Station, you can take a monorail service at Vivocity mall that will take you direct to Sentosa Island. The Circle Line, which was recently opened this year, is an orbital line linking all radial lines to the city. So far, 16 out of 29 stations are now in operation, starting from Dhoby Ghaut Station and ending at Marymount Station.

Taxis in Singapore

Taxis are plentiful and are a good way to get around Singapore, provided you are not caught in a traffic jam during rush hours. There are altogether seven taxi operators in Singapore. There are stringent requirements that all taxis are to be fitted with meters and are air-conditioned. Fares are relatively affordable, and are thus a popular form of public transportation.

The meter flagdown rate is SGD$3-$4. Taking a cab from the airport to the downtown city area will cost you around SGD$20-$30. Most places of attractions are easily accessible by the MRT or a bus so taking a cab is more for conveniences sake. Taxi stands can be found at every MRT stations or you can call Dial-Cab (tel: +65 6342 5222) or CityCab (Open: 08:00-17:30 (Monday-Friday); 383 Sin Ming Drive, tel: +65 6555 1188, hotline (24 hrs): +65 6552 1111).

Travelling within the city during off-peak hours should cost you less than SGD$10, but avoid taking taxis from 07:00-09:30, Monday-Friday, and 17:00-20:00, Monday-Saturday, as these are peak hours and come with surcharges of 35 per cent of metered fare.

City buses in Singapore

Taking a bus is a great way to get around all parts of Singapore as they are seamlessly connected to the MRT stations and are affordable. Most buses are air-conditioned making your journey a comfortable one. There are two main public bus companies in Singapore, SBS Transit and SMRT Buses. Figuring out your way around Singapore is not really that difficult. You can pick up a bus guide at the local bookstores or look at the bus routes that are available at every bus stops or MRT stations.

They will tell you in detail the places of attraction and the MRT stations that are connected to each bus service. For convenience, tourists should buy the Singapore Tourist Pass where you can enjoy unlimited train and bus rides at only SGD$10 a day. There is also the Rent-A-Card scheme which does not require you to purchase a stored value card, ez-link card, to get around Singapore. All you need to do is to return the card within five days and enjoy the use of the card absolutely free.

Overall, Singapore has a good transport network and is easy to get around with due to the many signage and directions. The barrier free access of the MRT stations and buses coupled with their seamless connections to Changi International Airport and other major attractions has made travelling around Singapore a pleasant experience.