With good public transport systems in place, getting around Singapore is very easy. You have a number of transportation options for getting around Singapore on land: the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), taxis, and buses. You may also go from one place to another by boat. The place is very tourist friendly; you need not fear about getting lost.
The Mass Rapid Transit or MRT comprises the city’s railroad system. They are fast, safe, and cheap, and they conveniently have stations in major areas all over the city. Taking the MRT is the easiest way to get around the city, as almost all important destinations in Singapore are covered by its 79 stations. Established in 1987, Singapore’s MRT is the second oldest rapid transit system in Southeast Asia. You will find the MRT stations well maintained and clean. Trains along the Circle Line and the North-East Line are fully automated.
If you plan to take the train often during your stay, it would be best for you to buy a contactless farecard, such as EZ-link or NETS FlashPay, to pay for your fare. You can buy a card for $12, and that includes an initial stored value of $7. When the amount in your card is almost used up, you can top it up in any 7-Eleven store. The card can be used for up to 5 years. You may also use your EZ-link card to pay for bus fare. If you won’t be taking the MRT that often, you can buy a single-trip ticket.
If you don’t feel like getting on a train, you can take a cab. Getting around Singapore in a cab may be a bit expensive than taking the MRT, but it sure is convenient and may sometimes even be faster than the MRT. In fact, if you are traveling with a group, a taxi may cost less than a train ride. Riding a cab to reach a destination within the city center will cost about $10 or less. However, taxis may ask for special rates in some cases, such as going to the central business district, going from the airport to your hotel (but not going to the airport), traveling during peak hours (it is difficult to get a taxi on such hours), and traveling during late night hours. Calling for a taxi pickup also has an additional charge on top of the meter.
Riding a bus is the slower option of getting around Singapore. However, it does allow you to see the sights of the city. If you have more time in your hands and do not mind slower travel, taking the bus will not be a problem. You can pay the fare in cash, but you might get confused figuring out how much to pay, so it is easier to pay thru EZ-link or NETS FlashPay. When you board the bus, you have to tap your card on the reader, which automatically deducts the maximum fare. Before getting on the bus, tap your card on the reader again. The reader will compute the required fare at your stop, subtract it from the maximum fare, and refund the difference back to your card. If you fail to tap before going down, your card will be charged the maximum fare.
There are other ways of getting around Singapore. Boats carry passengers from one point of the Singapore River to another. Riding a bicycle is not a popular option even though Singapore is a small city because there aren’t enough bike lanes. Trishaws, which are like three-wheeled bicycles, are available in Chinatown and in some areas along the Singapore River. These are not really used locally in transportation but are mostly offered to tourists.