Getting Around Singapore
Singapore is a small island nation of about 50 km by 25 km. There are over 30 outlying islands belonging to the Republic of Singapore but most attractions are on the main Singapore island. You can generally get to any location in Singapore within 1 hour.
There are many options for public transportation and transport costs in Singapore is relatively low and of high quality as compared to many countries in North America and Europe.
Train (Mass Rapid Transit or MRT)
Public transport in Singapore is cheap, efficient, clean and comfortable. The MRT is the fastest way to get around Singapore. Learn more about the MRT Route Map. Fares range from S$0.80 to S$1.80.
The best way to get around is to buy an ez-link card, which are sold at most MRT stations. Basically you pay S$15 for which you get a credit card sized fare card with which you can pay for all bus and MRT rides. The way it works is as follows; you pay S$15, S$5 is non-refundable card cost, S$3 is refundable travel deposit and S$7 is stored value, which is not refundable.
If this does not make sense, try this. Out of the S$15 you pay, you immediately lose S$5 to pay for the card, the remaining S$10 you can use for travelling around Singapore, but if you do not use the full S$10, you can only get a maximum of S$3 back if you hand in your card.
If you need more than S$10 to travel around, just go to any MRT station and top-up the card with a minimum of S$10. This does not cost anything.
Having an ez-link card does make your life a lot easier, but you have to be willing to pay the S$5 cost.
If you decide not to use an ez-link card, you will have to pay a S$1 deposit on top of the fare for your chosen destination. After your trip, you will be able to get this deposit back by going to any of the ticket machines in MRT stations and inserting this card.
Trains generally run from 05:30 unil midnight.
Going around Singapore by bus is easy and fun. The only problem with buses is that you need to pay with exact change for the fare, because bus drivers cannot give you any change. The ez-link card described in the MRT section can also be used to pay for your bus fare. Bus fares range from S$0.80 to S$1.60. Buses generally run from 05:30 until midnight.
Taxis in Singapore are good value-for-money (especially if there is a few of you and you can share the fare), but are obviously more expensive than public transport. Basically you can flag down a taxi almost anywhere, the only times when they might not stop, is if they are changing shifts (and will only accept rides in the direction of the area where the driver lives), if there is a taxi stand nearby with people waiting for taxis or if the taxi driver has accepted a phone booking.
Please keep in mind the following:
- All taxis in Singapore are metered, so do not accept offers of “flat rates”
- If you come from Changi airport, there is a S$3 airport surcharge
- There is a peak period surcharge of S$1 between the hours of 07:30 and 09:30 and 17:00 and 20:00 (Monday to Saturday)
- There is a 50% surcharge between midnight and 06:00
- There is a S$1 surcharge on public holidays
- There is a surcharge for phone bookings and advanced phone bookings
- Singapore has the “Electronic Road Pricing (ERP)” system, which means that car drivers (including taxi drivers) are charged for driving into central Singapore. You will be required to pay for this ERP charge if applicable