Singapore has a never-ending list of fascinating marvels that will make you fall in love with this island country. From towering skyscrapers to beautiful botanical gardens to exciting night safaris to themed amusement parks, the country has a lot to explore. Singapore welcomes tourists with fast and efficient public transport to help get around the ‘Lion City’. The country has built a vast network that connects all the major landmarks. Already googling how to get around Singapore? Our one-stop guide to public transport in Singapore will help you find easy accessibility at pocket-friendly prices to all the major tourist attractions.
Public Transport In Singapore – A Detailed Guide
By Train – MRT and LRT
What are the benefits of public transport via train?
Singapore’s train network is almost three decades old and connects even the most remote cities on the island. The system consists of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rapid Transit (LRT). It is perhaps the most popular means of public transport as it is budget-friendly and convenient. It also serves as the fastest mode of public transport, given its speed and extensive network. This public transport system connects 90 stations via a 150-km rail network. The tickets are available at a reasonable price based on your route. There is also a Singapore Tourist Pass that allows you to use local transportation with ease. Stations are just a short walk away from many major attractions.
What are the kinds of train passes available?
While there are multiple options available, the best way to travel is to buy a Singapore Tourist Pass (STP). It is an EZ-Link card that offers unlimited travel for one day (S$10), two days (S$16), and three days (S$20). One can buy the pass at either the TransitLink Ticket Office located at MRT station or at the Concession Card Replacement Office located at Somerset station. These passes are also available at the Automated STP Kiosks located near the Transitlink Ticket Office at Orchard station, HarbourFront station, and Changi Airport station (Terminals 2 and 3).
How do l pay for the pass?
The EZ-link card or a Nets FlashPay are handy options that allow you to travel via train or bus. All you have to do is tap the card on the card reader when you enter or leave the station or the bus and the amount is automatically debited from the card according to the distance. You can top up the cards with cash or card options at ticket machines, AXS stations, and 7-Eleven stores. You can also use the EZ-link Mobile app and the SimplyGo app, which allows you to pay using contactless banking.
The card offers unlimited train and bus rides for $10 a day.
Pro-tip: You can download the Singapore MRT LRT app offline and track the train schedule and other information on your phone.
What are the benefits of public transport via city bus?
Singapore’s city bus system has a large network of routes that pass through most of the city-state. You can opt for city transportation by hopping on a white and red coloured bus called the SBS Transit or a yellow coloured bus operated by SMRT. Both these buses start running from 5:30 am till midnight. Some operators like Nite Owl and NightRider also function during the night but charge a little extra for their services.
Bus transportation is not only a cheap way to get around Singapore but adds to the experience as it offers a scenic view of the lush greenery and beautiful architecture of the country. Getting around Singapore via the bus system is convenient with friendly bus captains at your service. Moreover, open strollers are also available at all public bus stations.
How do l pay for the city bus pass?
You can pay for Your bus fare using a value smartcard (EZ-link / Nets FlashPay) or the Singapore Tourist Pass (STP). All you have to do is find the electronic card reader, which is located next to the bus driver, and simply tap on the screen. You can also pay for your ride with your foreign-issued Mastercard and Visa contactless bank cards issued outside Singapore. However, when you exit, do remember to tap your card again on the reader located at the rear exit. You can also pay in cash, but make sure you have the right amount of change.
Where can I buy a public bus pass?
EZ-Link cards are available for purchase at 42 TransitLink Ticket Offices and 6 Concession Card Replacement Offices located at MRT stations and bus interchanges. You can also get a bus pass at Passenger Service Centers within most MRT Stations and 7-Eleven stores, including those located at Shell petrol kiosks.
Pro-tip: Download the My Transport app available for iOS and Android to get information on traffic updates and nearby city-to-city bus transport services.
What are the benefits of public transport via taxi?
Most cab drivers in the city are well aware of all the routes. Therefore, taxis serve as a convenient mode of city transportation, especially when you are in a rush.
Taxis run on meters and charge fares depending on the distance. However, every operator has their own price cards. So, confirm the tariff from the driver ahead of time and obtain a receipt when you arrive at your destination. Besides meter charges, the surcharge also applies depending on the time, place, and taxi company you take.
Taxis are convenient, especially if you want to go somewhere that is inaccessible by bus or MRT. Moreover, if you prefer to travelling, while listening to your favourite track in a vehicle with an air-con and ample leg space, taxis are your best bet and are readily available on booking.
What are the different taxi services available?
There are plenty of licensed street-hail service providers such as CDG Taxi, SMRT Taxi, Premier Taxi, Prime Taxi and TransCab. You can get information on their hiring services by clicking the respective names of the companies mentioned above.
How do I book a taxi?
You can easily get a taxi from licensed operators across the nation by waiting at any taxi stand or using GPS technology. You can also call the Dial-A-Cab hotline at (634) 5222, which will further connect you to the taxi driver of your choice. Most malls, hotels, and tourist spots have taxi stands.
Pro-tip: Every taxi company has their own booking hotline, and some like ComfortDelgro offer a downloadable booking app.
Tips for first-time commuters to getting around Singapore:
- Avoid travelling during rush hour as the queues at the bus stand are long. While the trains travel at full capacity from 7.00 am to 10.00 am.
- Always carry your EZ-Link pass as you can use it for both buses and trains.
- Purchase a local SIM card to help you stay connected. You can access apps that offer information about public transport in Singapore.
- Visit any Singapore Visitor Center for any assistance required with local transportation options available. They also provide information that may help you chart out an excellent itinerary.
- Useful apps to download for getting around Singapore are; Singabus, SG Dr Bus, SG BusLeh, Bus Uncle, and more.
- Ensure your EZ-Link card has sufficient balance before tapping at the entrance gates.