Transport in Singapore

Singapore is a country where business finds common ground. At the same time, tourists find their holiday destination. Making the island nation prosper. Even though being one of the smallest countries in the world, Singapore does pack a lot in it.

With their friendly behavior towards foreigners, stable political situation, and developing mindset, it is heaven for any tourist or business person.

One of the key elements of a developed country is, its transport infrastructure. As they say, time is money; the time it takes for a person to travel from one point to another is crucial to the productivity of the country.

Luckily, Singapore is one of the countries that have an excellent transport system. With a lot of different options, as a tourist or worker in Singapore, you can reach your destination in no time.

Today, we are going to talk all about the transport in Singapore, how it works, what the options are, and how the fare system works in Singapore. This way, you will get an exact idea of what to choose while visiting the country.

Transport in Singapore - The Full Guide

Dubbed as the cleanest and most secure country in the world, Singapore also doesn’t fall behind with its transport system. With different transport options available both in the public and private sectors, you can choose from any of them.

Transport in Singapore

There are mainly four common transport options available in Singapore. They are:

Additionally, there are luxury chauffeur services available in Singapore, which anyone can book for their convenience. Before we start explaining that, we need to talk about the most popular ones mentioned above. Let’s start the engines with them.

Public Transport in Singapore

We all know how public services are one of the most convenient methods of transportation in many countries. With fewer worries about your ride, you can reach your destination within a short time. Also, there is no need to worry about the extra charges and hassle of fuel of owning a vehicle.

Public Transport in Singapore

Singapore’s public transport services are meticulously mapped around the country, which gives options to get up from any point in the city and make a full circle.

Let’s look into them one by one and how they are different from each other so you can choose any of the rides while you are here in Singapore.

Bus Services

We start with the most common mode of transport around the country, the Bus Service. The bus network is spread all over the country, stops at iconic sites and different bus types.

Bus Services in Singapore

There are four main types of buses that operate in Singapore. These are:

With SBS Transit being the largest service provider, they operate all over the country. The other ones operate in either specific areas or transport around the MRT network.

There are Single and double-decker buses along with bendy articulated ones where two buses are connected with a section.

There are over 5,800 buses that operate in Singapore. You can find the bus routes from the Land Transport Authority website anytime you want.

You can pay cash or use the EZ-Link Card to pay the fare. Frequent travelers use the EZ-Link card as it is a lot cheaper than paying in cash.

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)

Now, with Singapore’s famous MRT or Mass Rapid Transit system. It is the metro railway system that connects the entire country. The MRT was established back in 1987, serving side by side with the bus service.

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)

As of 2022 data, the MRT covers a length of 230 km (142.92 mi) with 134 functioning stations.

The MRT network consists of 6 different routes. Each of these is color-coded to distinguish them from each other. Also, they function in different routes. So here is a chart to give you the exact information.

MRT Line (Color) Route
East-West Line (Green) Pasir Ris - Joo Koon
North-South Line (Red) Jurong East - Marina South Pier
North-East Line (Purple) Punggol - HarbourFront
Circle Line (Yellow) Dhoby Ghaut - Marina Bay
Downtown Line (Blue) Bukit Panjang - Expo
Thomson-East Coast Line (TE Line) (Brown) Woodlands North - Upper Thomson

Note: Keep in mind that the routes may change depending on the Land Transport Authority’s plans. However, the color coordination stays the same for each MRT.

The MRT runs from 6 am till midnight. You will find trains departing every 5 minutes during the peak hours. A fun fact about the MRT is that it is fully automated, meaning it does not have a conductor.

The payment system is an EZ-Link card or store value card. You can also purchase tickets from the stations, but it won’t be as cost-efficient as the value cards. We will talk about them later on in detail.

You can also check out the routes from the LTA website to plan your route to the city.

Light Rapid Transit (LRT)

As the name suggests, LRT or Light Rapid Transit is the same as MRT but smaller in size. They work as a transport system from residential areas and business districts to the MRT stations. A lift to the MRT, if you will.

LRT in Singapore

The LRT lines are smaller, more automated, and a bit elevated than the MRT. As it doesn’t serve as a direct transport to any destination other than the MRT stations, you can only find a few lines and routes to them. Here is the list of LRT lines and their routes:

LRT Line Area Connecting MRT Station
Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) Western Singapore Bukit Panjang
Sengkang LRT (SKLRT) North-Eastern Singapore Sengkang (East & West Loops)
Punggol LRT (PGLRT) Eastern Singapore Punggol

You can use the LRT if you are in any of these areas to travel to the MRT stations faster. It cuts down on the journey time by a lot compared to a bike.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services

Apart from the bus and train services, you will find taxis and ride-sharing services in Singapore. They are available all over the city and can be found late in the night.

You can hail a taxi from the roadside whenever you want. There are also apps like CDG Zig (ComfortDelGro Taxi Booking and Zig), where you can pre-book a ride.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services in Singapore

The payment options are both cash and card, whichever you find convenient. The government regulates taxi services, so you can expect the fare to be standard. Also, the quality is top-notch.

Additionally, ride-sharing apps are available in Singapore via Grab, Gojek, Ryde, and TADA. They have a wide range of coverage around the cities. The only difference between taxis and ride-sharing apps is that you can get all types of vehicles in ride-sharing apps.

On the other hand, taxis are only sedans with yellow or blue color. The pricing is also different than the taxi services and sometimes might cost a bit more depending on the type of vehicle you have booked.

Since we are talking about the costs, let’s look into how much you need to pay for each type of service next.

Public Transport Cost in Singapore

Public transport is relatively inexpensive in Singapore. This is mostly true for the MRT and bus. Taxis are also reasonable during off-peak hours. Here is the fare structure for each of the transport services.

Public Transport Cost in Singapore

Fare Structure

Public transport is inexpensive in Singapore. Riding the MRT or LRT will cost you $1.12 (SG$ 1.50) per trip, depending on the distance and location. But if you want to cut down on that cost, an EZ-Link card will be the best option for you because tickets cost more than the card payment.

Bus rides cost $0.60 (SG$ 0.80) for non-airconditioned and $1.12 (SG$ 1.50) for air-conditioned options. You can buy tickets and store value cards for the bus fare.

Taxi fares are, on the other hand, a bit on the expensive side. As it is paid by the meter, and you also get your own vehicle, it is understandable.

Expect to pay $1.79 (SG$ 2.40) for the first 1.5 kilometers. After that, every 240m costs around 10 cents.

Extra charges are applicable during peak hours in the Central Business District (CBD), at the airport, or after midnight.

The ridesharing services have their own costs and show them in the apps depending on your distance, time of travel, and location.

The peak hours for taxi services are 7.30 am-9.30 am and 5.30 pm-7 pm on weekdays. So the ride cost will go up during this time.

You can pay for the MRT, LRT, and Bus with cash or the EZ- -Link Card. On the other hand, you can pay cash or use a card to pay for taxis and ride-sharing services. Now, a question might arise: is there any free transport option in Singapore? Well, we are going to explain about that now.

Is Public Transport Free in Singapore?

Public transport in Singapore is not free, but it has a different calculation system. Rather than paying a flat rate, you pay for the distance you have traveled. It is called the Distance Fare System. This means there is no charge for boarding a bus or MRT.

Is Public Transport Free in Singapore?

You just have to pay the fee for your travel distance, nothing more. So, in one way, you are traveling free.

Free Transport Service Initiatives

Although there is no fully free transport service available in Singapore, certain individuals can get a concessionary pass during off-peak hours, as well as monthly concession cards.

Here is a list of categories of people who are eligible to apply for this concession and enjoy reduced transport fees.

Seniors and Persons with Disabilities

Senior persons aged 60 and above get the privilege of having a concessional pass. They also get to have a monthly concession card that they can apply once and use throughout the month.

A person with disabilities also gets a Concession card. They can enjoy up to 55% fare reductions every time they use public transport. At the same time, they don’t have to pay any additional fare if the travel distance is beyond 7.2km.

You can get the information on how to apply for a Senior Citizen Concession Card and a Persons with Disabilities Concession Card if you fill in the eligible criteria. Make sure to check them out.

Students

Students can also get concession cards depending on their age and level of education. Depending on these factors, the concession will be granted.

Moreover, students will need to apply for the transit concession card through their educational institution.

Special Events

There are also concessions and free trips depending on the special events. Events like National Holidays, Singapore Grand Prix, and New Year’s Eve will have free travel options in designated periods and routes.

This information gets published on the Transit Links website, so keep an eye there when you are visiting.

Singapore Travel Pass

To get a lesser travel fare while exploring Singapore, you need to have a Singapore Travel Pass. Surely, you can pay cash if you don’t use public transport much, but if you are a frequent user or love the MRT or buses, then a Travel Pass is essential.

Singapore Travel Pass

Let’s talk about the available Travel Passes in Singapore.

Types of Travel Passes in Singapore

There are mainly two types of travel passes available in Singapore. These are:

Additionally, the TransitLink App allows you to pay your fares using the app, going all cashless.

EZ-Link Card

The EZ-Link Card is the standard stored value card that has credit in it. You can buy them online, as well as the transit offices, grocery chain stores, and MRT stations.

The card allows you to pay for your fares on MRT and Buses. You get a concession while paying with an EZ-Link Card rather than paying cash.

Singapore Tourist Pass

Any tourist traveling to Singapore gets the opportunity to have a Tourist Pass. This way, you can access the MRT, LRT, and Buses.

The main benefit of a Singapore Tourist Pass or STP is that you can ride on all public transport as many times as you want within its validity period. You can buy 1 to 3 days of STP from SimplyGO, EZ-Link websites and apps, and convenience stores like 7-Eleven.

But before you can buy the STP as a tourist, you have to apply for a Singapore eVisa. As Singapore requires a visa from eligible citizens of the world to visit the country, you can apply for it by online application.

The online application process is straightforward, requiring only your valid passport, a passport-size photo, inbound and outbound flight tickets, and hotel bookings. With all these documents, you can apply for a Singapore visa and get it before your travel to the country.

Then, you can buy an STP and travel to your heart’s content. You can do a full-circle trip in the MRT and look at the iconic monuments and scenes throughout the city with your travel pass. So make sure you get it.

Tourist Pass Plus

While we are talking about the STP, there is a Tourist Pass Plus we should let you know about. It is the same travel pass for tourists but with more perks and benefits.

You get to have a 3-day unlimited public transport pass with it—also, an hour of guided tour throughout Singapore.

Additionally, you also get a discounted price on the Changi Travel Concierge services. A limited edition postcard will be gifted to you, which is always a nice thing to have. So we would suggest going for it if you are on a 3-day trip to Singapore.

Other Available Transport Companies in Singapore

There are a number of private transport companies in the country. This includes taxi services, ride-sharing services, and car rentals.

Transport Companies in Singapore

Here is a list of the renowned transport companies that operate in Singapore.

Taxi Companies

Apart from the yellow and blue taxis, which are publicly operated, you will find other companies such as follows:

Ride-Sharing Companies

Additionally, you will also find Ride-sharing services in Singapore. There are four top-rated ones that we have listed below:

Car Rental Companies

We know everyone likes to drive their own vehicle. This is why we have listed some of the car rental companies that you can look into. There are also local car rental options available, but these are the best ones up until now.

Luxury Private Transportation in Singapore

We cannot leave behind the luxurious private transportation in Singapore. Because while you are here, you should indulge in the Dubai of the Asian continent.

Luxury Private Transportation in Singapore

There are numerous limousines, luxury Sedans, and SUV services available in Singapore. As one of the top business-oriented countries in Southeast Asia, Singapore packs a delight for its tourists and visitors. Hence the extravagant arrangements.

You can also call Chauffeured services along with your vehicle. You can get a lift from the airport and drop off if you wish for it through the providers as well. We have listed some of the top companies that provide luxury transport options.

If you are wondering how much it will cost you to get luxury transport in Singapore, it depends on many factors. What type of vehicle are you booking, and for how long are the first criteria.

Based on that, you can get charged by hours, days, or months. At the same time, you can also subscribe to a package plan that benefits the best. There is also a distance payment option for airport pickup and other travel arrangements.

You can contact the luxury transport providers for the specific details of the pricing, as it depends on a whole lot of factors and details.

Conclusion

In the end, we can say that Singapore has everything. From tall skyscrapers to business hubs and obviously to run them, top quality transportation system. Future developments are always running in the country for all of the sectors. So, the infrastructure keeps on getting better.

If you are traveling to Singapore, try out their MRT and Buses. Don’t forget to get the STP Plus to add in some extra benefits.

Additionally, indulge in some luxury, even if it is for the Insta reels. Because it is the opportunity of a lifetime, and you don’t want to miss up on it,

Until next time, ride safely, and have a great journey!

Written by
Picture of Usama Jahangir

Usama Jahangir

"Words, research, music, repeat. Throw some words at me, and I will bring them back magnificently. You never know what hides behind a word, it's a mystery that keeps on unfolding. While writing is my passion, my hobbies include trying new cuisines and music."
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