Getting Around Singapore
Public transport in Singapore is efficient, ultra-modern, clean, cheap and mostly air conditioned. TransitLink Hotline (tel: (65) 767 4333) is a new one-stop number set up by all the major transport providers to help co-ordinate people’s transport needs.
The train system is operated by Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (tel: (65) 336 8900; fax: (65) 334 8051; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.smrt.com.sg). The MRT system extends north-south and east-west with trains every two to eight minutes 0530-2430 daily. Fares range from S$0.70 to S$1.60.
The bus system is operated by the Singapore Bus Service (SBS; tel: (65) 383 7229; fax: (65) 282 5204; e-mail: email@example.com; website: www.sbs.com.sg) and TIBS (tel: (65) 480 6294; fax: (65) 482 3842; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.tibs.com.sg). SBS buses run 0600-2400 with fares costing S$0.60-1.20 for non-air-conditioned buses and S$0.70-1.50 for air-conditioned buses. TIBS also runs a Bus-Plus service, which operates during peak hours to shuttle passengers between residential areas and MRT stations or the central business district. Fares are S$3.20-3.70.
Another available option is the Singapore Trolley (tel: (65) 339 6833), a red tram bus (see Bus Tours in the Tours of the City section).
Passes known as Farecards (covering both the MRT and buses) are available from MRT stations for a deposit of S$2 with an initial value of S$10. These can be topped up at TransitLink machines in every station. For S$10, a Tourist Day Ticket entitles passengers to up to 12 rides a day on the MRT and all bus services. These are available at MRT stations and bus interchanges.
More than 15,000 air-conditioned taxis are cheap, metered and safe. However, because they are so convenient they can be difficult to find during peak hours, especially in the Central Business District. Taxis can be flagged down 24 hours a day and well-marked stands are located outside most shopping centres and hotels. Fares start at S$2.40 for the first kilometre, then rise in increments of S$0.10 and are subject to a number of surcharges – most commonly advance booking fees. After midnight, there is a 50% surcharge, which means that although there may be many empty taxis cruising around, they will be hard to flag down after about 2330. Drivers changing shifts will only take passengers heading in their direction – the red board on the dashboard or windscreen indicates the destination. Tipping is prohibited at the airport and discouraged elsewhere. It was not that long ago that a bell rang if taxis broke the speed limit of 80kph (50mph), but mercifully this has now been removed. Taxi firms include CityCab (tel: (65) 553 3880); the Comfort (tel: (65) 552 1111).
Chauffeur-driven cars and limousines are available for tours around the city. Operators include CityLimo Auto Services Group (tel: (65) 665 1818). The rate from Changi Airport to anywhere on the island is S$35.