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Last updated : Nov 2009
Singapore Getting Around - Internal Travel
Singapore Internal Travel - Getting Around Singapore -
Public Transport

Public transport is systematic, ultra-modern, clean, cheap and mostly air conditioned. TransitLink Hotline (telephone: 1800 767 4222 or 6767 4333) is a one-stop number, set up by all the main transport operators to help co-ordinate people’s transport requirement.

The train is run by Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (telephone: 6336 8900; fax: 6334 8051). The MRT system operates from north to south and east to west, departs every 3 to 6 minutes from 5.30 am to 12.30 am daily. Fares are from S$0.80 - S$1.80.

MRT also operates the Light Rapid Transit System (telephone: 6893 6455/6; fax: 6762 6732). Currently, there are 14 LRT stations. The system operates from Bukit Panjang New Town to Choa Chu Kang in the suburbs. Each trip costs S$0.80–1.00 and runs every 3 to 5 minutes.

The bus system is run by the Singapore Bus Service (telephone: 1 800 287 2727 or 6284 8866; fax: 6282 5204; e mail: and Trans Island Bus Service (telephone: 6482 3888; fax: 6482 3842; email:

SBS buses operate from 6.00 am to 12 midnight with fares costing S$0.70–1.40 for non-air-conditioned buses and S$0.80–1.70 for air-conditioned buses. TIBS also runs a Bus-Plus (telephone: 6481 0166; fax: 6484 0129) service, which runs during peak hours to shuttle passengers between residential areas and MRT stations or the Central Business District. Fares are S$3.50–5.00. Night buses run after these have finished, until around 4.00 am, and fare is S$3.00.

Electronic passes, known as ez-link cards, are available at MRT stations (covering MRT, LRT and buses) and cost S$10 plus a deposit of S$5. Once the initial value of S$10 has been used up, the cards can be topped up at ATMs at all stations, which makes the fares slightly cheaper. Any remaining value left over can be redeemed at stations.


There are more than 18,000 metered, cheap, safe and air-conditioned taxis in Singapore. However, they can be difficult to find during peak hours, particularly in the Central Business District (CBD), and during a downpour. Travellers can catch taxis 24 hours a day which are available on the street, and at well-marked stands outside most shopping malls and hotels. Fares are varied according to companies, and normally start at S$2.40 for the 1st kilometre and rise in increments of S$0.10. They are based on a number of surcharges, the most commonly advance booking fees. Example surcharges are S$1 during peak hours or S$1 for a pick-up in the CBD. There is a 50% surcharge daily from 12 midnight to 6.00 am, as well as a S$5 surcharge from 5.00 pm to 12 midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There can also be surcharges for driving along some specific highways at some specific times.

It is not usual to tip taxi drivers. Visitors should note that drivers changing shifts will only take passengers heading in their direction. The red board on the dashboard or windscreen indicates their destination. Though a bell that rings if the taxi goes over the speed limit, is not used anymore, most drivers adhere strictly to the 80 kilometres per hour (or 50mph). Taxi companies include CityCab (telephone: 6552 2222), Comfort (telephone: 6552 1111) and TIBS Taxis (telephone: 6555 8888).


More of a taxi with style than a limo, TIBS Taxis (telephone: 6555 8888; fax: 6368 2232) offers Mercedes or London Black Cabs that can be booked. The journey from the city centre to the airport costs S$39.

Driving in the City

Singapore’s highways are all designated by acronyms – ECP, AYE, CTE, PIE, AMK, ORR and CBD. Tolls are levied in morning and evening peak hours to reduce congestion on expressways and busy roads, using the Electronic Road Pricing Scheme (ERP), which electronically takes tolls away from the In-Vehicle Unit or IU. This is suitable in all Singaporean vehicles and drivers buy a Cashcard that can be recharged and insert it in the IU. Vehicles that do not have the IU must rent one and this can be done from petrol stations and other outlets, costing S$5 a day, minimum of 2 days plus a S$120 deposit.

To ease traffic flow in the Central Business District, all vehicles entering from 7.30 am to 7.00 pm pay a toll, which varies relying on the time. Additional information is on the web site (, including where and when the ERP system operates.

The highways are easy to drive and traffic moves smoothly because of the ERP. Wearing seat belts in the front and back is the law and it is unlawful to use a mobile phone while driving. Driving offences are treated severely, with tough fines and even prison sentences. Singaporean drivers have a habit of lane drifting but traffic flows with very few abuses of etiquette.

Parking is easily available and cheap throughout Singapore, particularly in hotel basement car parks. Rates vary relying on location and timing but public car parks range about S$0.50 for 30 minutes.

Car Hire

A valid national driving licence is needed, even though an International Driving Permit (IDP) is preferred and is obligatory where the driver’s national licence is not in English. A passport and credit card are required to hire a car. Minimum third-party insurance is obligatory and can be extended to cover Malaysia. Drivers must be a minimum of 25 years to hire a car.

Major companies include Avis (telephone: 6737 1668; fax: 6235 4958; email: and Hertz (telephone: 6734 4646; fax: 6733 0466; email:

Bicycle Hire

Cycling in Singapore usually tends to be restricted to public parks, with East Coast Park a popular venue for cyclists and rollerbladers. There are bicycles for hire at outlets in the park, from about S$1.50 per hour and some other bicycles can be hired at Sentosa, Pasir Ris and Bishan parks. The island of Pulau Ubin (see Tours - Excursions) offers mountain bike facilities, with many shops near the jetty.