What is public transportation like in Singapore?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Jamie L.T. Mapa

The public transportation system in Singapore is quite developed and the main mode of getting around as owning a car can be a costly investment.  Listed below are different options for getting around the island and some helpful tips:

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) - Train and Bus: The MRT is Singapore's main rail line spanning a majority of the country.  There are four lines currently categorized by colors - Red (Northsouth Line), Purple (Northeast Line), Green (Eastwest Line) and Orange (Circle Line) - with an additional blue line (Downtown Line) under development.  For other neighborhoods - mainly residential - there is the Light Rail Transit (LRT) categorized by a grey line on the train map.  Trains start operating at 5:30am and most lines have their last ride between 12AM and 1AM.  Unlike subway lines in a few other countries, Singapore's train stations are extremely clean and safe with an organized queuing system during rush hour.

There are also thousands of buses - single and double deckers - with a multitude of bus stops and routes.  There are minimal late night buses as well, but a taxi would be the best bet if you're out in the evening after 11pm.  More information on bus routes and times and the MRT map can be found here: www.publictransport.sg

Taxis:  Taxis are relatively affordable in Singapore and is therefore a common form of transport for residents and visitors.  Depending on the time of day, most taxis charge ~SG$3.20 as their base fare.  There will be additional charges during peak hours, if you're boarding in the Central Business District and late night service.  There are eight different taxi companies in Singapore with ComfortDelgro as the largest of the eight managing over 15,000 taxis.  A tip: you may want to avoid the "premier" taxis known as limocabs which are often black or white (Mercedes or Chevrolet) as their base fare and per meter charge is higher.

Taxis can be hailed in most areas - though the Central Business District has designated taxi stands - and can also be booked via phone, text/sms and utilizing a web based app.  They run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

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