Getting around Singapore
Singapore is known to have one of the best public transportation systems in the world. If you're on a tight budget, here is a quick overview of the different modes of public transportation that can get you where you need to go without taking a big slice off your vacation plans.
Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
Serving more than 2 million commuters each day, hopping on the MRT is perhaps the most efficient way to get around the city. It greener than cars and connects to most of the major nodes and townships, with average waiting times between trains of 2 minutes during peak hours, and 5 minutes during off-peak hours. Most places are a short walk - or a quick bus ride - away from an MRT station. The MRT is also connected to several Light Rail Transit (LRT) stations that serve heartland neighbourhoods, as well as the Sentosa Express to Singapore's resort island of Sentosa.
Despite the expansiveness of the MRT network, public buses are still an important way to get around Singapore because they navigate through small roads and allow you to alight right in front of your destination. If you're not in a rush for time, taking a public bus from one terminal to another is also a great way to sightsee, something that the MRT does not really allow you to do given that many of its stations are underground.
All taxis in Singapore are required by law to charge by the metre, so don’t worry about fee touts and price scammers. With an oligopoly of seven different companies owning a total of approximately 25,000 registered taxis, hail a taxi no matter where you may find yourself in Singapore, and at any time of day with ease. If you're travelling in a group of 4 (most taxis are 5-seaters), a taxi may a quick, comfortable and cost-effective way to get to a nearby destination.
Uber and Grab are the two main smartphone-enabled transportation systems used in Singapore, and may be accessed simply by downloading an App on your smartphone. As most share-vehicle users know, the advantage here lies in convenience and a fixed cost upon confirmation. As it operates based on demand and supply, rides can get pricey during peak periods.
Launched in February 2017, oBike is Singapore’s first station-less bike sharing platform to promote a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to getting around the city. Using a GPS tracking App on your smartphone, hop on one virtually anywhere in Singapore as long as one is parked there. It’s a convenient mode to get to nearby places, and it offers a plus – you get to sightsee along the way. But do be aware that bicycle lanes are not readily available so this may mean sharing a pavement with pedestrians or a roadway with cars.