Public Buses in Singapore
Unlike many countries, Public Buses in Singapore usually comes in the space of 5 – 20 mins (more often during peak hours, and less often during non-peak hours), so if you miss one bus, have no worries, the next one will arrive in no time!
You will find bus-stops (places where you can flag down buses) along roads in Singapore. It is hard to find roads which do not have a bus-stop, so you do not need to worry about a thing!
If in doubt of the fare to pay, just ask the bus-driver! Tell him/her the destination you are going, and ask him/her how much would the fare be. If you are unsure of when to alight, ask the bus driver to tell you when he/she reaches the destination! Most bus-drivers are friendly, and would advise you exactly on how much to pay, when to alight, and even tell you if you need to take another service number instead. So just ask!
For those who do not wish to ‘squeeze’ with the public, you can always take the taxis/cabs. Unlike places like Hong Kong, there are no specific areas where you can flag down taxis. In fact, you can flag them down (as long as they are empty of course) practically anywhere along the road (except for toll-away zones). Of course, this “anywhere” should not be compared to places like New York (where it is practically – anywhere!) 🙂
A normal trip by taxi generally costs from a few Singapore dollars to over ten Singapore dollars. Only on rare occasions (like trips to the airport) would you find yourself paying more than S$20. A trip which costs about S$20 – S$30 is enough to take you from one end of the island to the other.
All trips are ‘metered’, so you can be sure you will not be over-charged. Most Singapore taxi-drivers are honest and based trips on the metered fare, but of course there are some bad-hats around, and if you encounter them, just pay according to what they demand and make a complaint (refer to the telephone numbers below) to their respective companies (note the signs on the taxis, which clearly display the company owning the taxis). Remember to note the number of the taxi and the driver (note the name on the front of the taxi, it is a must to clearly display the driver’s name) on duty.
Tips are not compulsory, but if you feel that the taxi driver is doing a good job, please be generous! (I tipped the taxi drivers quite often myself when I take taxis if I find them honest and my trip pleasant. So decide for yourself whether you want to tip the taxi drivers.)
For those die-hards, the rickshaws (or trishaws to some) which were used as one form of public transport back in the sixties, seventies and early eighties, are now available as a form of tourists attraction. You can now hire rickshaws to tour around the central part of Singapore, please check with your hotel operators for more details on how to hire one. Such trips, I was told, costs about S$35 where the rickshaw riders will bring you around some places of interests.
There are of course many other modes of transport in Singapore, private buses, chauffered limos etc. etc. But they are not really “public” to a certain extend. However, if anyone wishes to know more, I will write on them as well.