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Getting around in Singapore

Not all dusty roads and crowded buses

The small island state of Singapore has to have one of the best designed and thought out public transport systems in the world -- it's as simple as that. From the moment you alight your flight at Singapore's Changi International Airport, till the moment you cross the Second Crossing by bus enroute to Melaka you'll be able to pass seasmlessly through a number of integrated public transport systems, which, when it's all taken into account are very reasonably priced.


Short of needing a helicopter to whisk you from Changi Airport to luxurious hotel suite, there's no flying needed in Singapore.

MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) System

This world-class mass transit system is made up of three main lines that bring most of Singapore within easy grasp. The three lines are the East West Line, running from Boon Lay in the west to Changi Airport and Pasir Ris in the east, the North South Line, running from Jurong East to Marina Bay and the North East Line running from Punggol to Harbourfront. There's a number of interchanges where the lines intersect, with the downtown juntions of Dhoby Ghaut, City Hall, Raffles Place and Outram Park being the most important.

Ticket price ranges depending on the length of trip, but short, coupld of station jaunts downtown shouldn't cost more than S$1 or so. You can check all the fare details at the SMRT website. Tickets are purchased at kiosks and booths at the stations and both notes and coins are accepted. Single trip tickets require a deposit on the card, which you can get refunded at the other end of your trip. The service is open from around 05:30-23:30 -- exact first and last train times vary according to the station.

The service is very fast, super clean and totally easy to understand -- even the most navigationally challenged will be able to figure it out.


Singapore has two bus companies; SMRT buses and Singapore Bus Service. The respective websites have detailed fare and routing information. Between the two companies, the bus network is comprehensive -- moreso than the MRT and the fares are slightly lower. Fares are distance related and the coins are dropped in a chute beside the driver -- note no change is given, so make sure you've got some coins on you.


No shortage of taxis in Singapore, but don't make the mistake of thinking they're an inexpensive way to get around -- they're not. You're liable for all electronic tolls and there are night and late night surcharges, which can jack up the fare by 50%. Bus or MRT is a far more cost effective way to get around, but if you're in a hurry, taxi is the way to go.


Singapore for beginners

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