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A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Around Singapore

Figuring out the best way to get in and around a new country can be somewhat of a challenge, especially when you have just migrated. However, finding the fastest route to work or home will go a long way in saving you a lot of time and energy in the near future. Fortunately, Singapore’s well-developed infrastructure has allowed the country to have one of the best transportation systems in the world. In fact, the transport system in Singapore has been integrated in such a way that it is highly unlikely that you won’t see a bus-stop or MRT station every 200-400m or so. To say that most Singaporeans rely on public transportation for their daily commute is a gross understatement. As public transportation in this country plays an integral role on a day-to-day basis.

 

Ways to Get Around Singapore

MRT/LRT

Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) are a form of public transportation, which is comprised of extensive transport networks that cover almost every nook and cranny of Singapore. Unlike MRT which takes you to around most places on the island, LRT is a transport system that links MRT stations that are situated within the HDB housing estates. MRT has five lines spanning the island, these include the North-South line (red), the North-East line (purple), the East-West line (green), the Circle line (orange) and the Downtown line (blue). Since its first launch in 1987, taking the MRT has been a popular form of transport for Singaporeans. In fact, it is estimated that a whopping 2.5 million people ride the MRT every day in Singapore. Suffice to say, the MRT system is the backbone of Singapore’s public transportation. These systems of transport are popular amongst Singaporeans for a number of reasons. For one it is extremely cost-effective and reliable. Additionally, riding the MRT is one of the fastest ways to explore the country. It’s also helpful to note that some MRT stations such as Orchard, Chinatown and Bishan lead directly to a mall where you can recharge and relax before heading to the destination. Since you will be staying in the country for a long period of time, it would be convenient to purchase an EZ-Link card, which you can top-up frequently as you travel.

Bus

Interestingly enough, it is reported that an estimated 3,000 buses run throughout the country every day. As one of the most convenient and pleasant ways to explore Singapore. Besides being an affordable way to see the country and its attractions, there is an extensive range of bus services, 300 to be exact, that will takes you almost anywhere in Singapore. It’s best to research the bus route of a specific bus service before hopping on to start a new adventure. Operated by SMRT Buses, SBS Transit, GAS buses and TTS Buses, these buses will take you to the Central Business District, Town areas and even the residential areas around the country. Since 2015, 550 new buses have been added to the network under the Service Enhancement Programme. This is to ensure that the waiting time is significantly reduced. Moreover, it is a necessary step to cater to the growing population in Singapore. It is reported that on average, buses give over three million rides per day. It’s also comforting to know that in sunny Singapore, most if not all buses are air-conditioned. You can also use EZ-Link cards to travel on buses.

 

Taxis

Taxis provide a faster form of transport when you’re getting in and around Singapore. At the same time, they offer more accessibility to certain areas that might be a hassle to get to on public transportation or get around on foot. The best part is, there are as many taxi stands in Singapore, especially in the residential and town areas. This means that you can find a cab almost anywhere after waiting for some time. However, since most rely on apps to book a cab, it might be much faster and convenient to book a cab rather than flag down one. In Singapore, there are a number of taxi services that you can utilise to get around the city.

ComfortDelGro

Both Comfort taxi and CityCab are two taxi companies that belong to ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited. ComfortDelGro Taxi is a leading taxi company in Singapore that has a fleet of 13,000 cars, which operate on a daily basis, 24/7. Flagging down a cab can cost you somewhere around S$3.20 to S$3.90. Afterwards, the metered fare will be calculated based on the distance and the estimated waiting time. If you’re booking a cab, there is an option of a flat fare, however, do note that there be booking charges of S$3.30 for a normal 4-seater from Mon-Fri (except Public Holidays): 6am-9.29am and S$2.30 for all other times. Additionally, a flat fare might not always be the final fare, if your cab takes you to the CBD area or somewhere where ERP charges are applicable, these charges will be automatically included in your total fare at the end of your trip. Peak periods, late night charges are relatively higher compared to non-peak and normal hours. What’s more, flagging down cabs in the city area and Changi Airport from Friday to Sunday, from 5 pm to 11.59 pm, can cost significantly higher. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can always book a Grab, however, do note that the prices fluctuate based on demand.