Getting Around in Singapore

Getting around in Singapore
Panoramic view of Singapore

The majority of Singaporeans use public transportation as opposed to private vehicles.  There are two bus systems on Singapore, SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation, which reach nearly every corner of the island.  Also available are buses, taxis, cable cars, ferries and the occasional Trishaw.

Like most metropolitan areas around the globe, taxis are a great way to get around a highly populated and congested area.  As of April, 2008, there were over 24,000 taxis on the island nation of Singapore.  For those visitors unaccustomed to the high humidity and heat of Singapore, an air-conditioned taxi ride is a relief.

The best way to get around Singapore is on the five lines and 138 kilometers of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT).  MRT spans the width and breadth of the island, while LRT runs through local neighborhoods.  The rail system will carry you to tourist attractions, hotels, shopping, cultural centers and pretty much anywhere else you may want to visit.

If you are driving, you can reach Malaysia from Singapore by either the CausewayBridge or the SecondLinkBridge, but traveling in Singapore by car is not recommended.  There are tolls on many of the roads in Singapore as a means of discouraging driving and to help reduce pollution.  Many of the side streets are quite narrow and there are too many pedestrians to keep track of for the foreign visitor to be able to drive and enjoy Singapore.  If you do elect to drive in Singapore, you will find there are 10 expressways to will help you get from one place to another.  There is a delightful cable car ride from MountFaber to SentosaIsland for tourists.

In an effort to encourage tourists to use public transportation, the Land Transit Authority and the Singapore Tourism Board put together a program that offers a Singapore Tourist Pass which gives tourists unlimited use of Singapore’s public transportation system for a mere $8 a day.  Available at selected MRT stations, the passes are good on SBS Transit, SMRT buses and SMRT trains.  The pass does not work on certain buses, such as the Night Rider, but it is a great way to get around.  Maps and schedules are clearly posted and easy to use.

Travelling on foot is the best way to see all the sights of Singapore.  You will discover delicious snack stands, meet incredible people and uncover merchandise finds you would never have found if you were driving.  The public transportation system is very effective and efficient and the TouristPass makes it an affordable option.  So, put on your comfortable shoes, but a TouristPass and start exploring!

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