The sheer size of Singapore is enough to put anyone on edge, fearing that the metropolis is simply too large to be traversed without great expense. However, that is not the case. There are plenty of cheap and easy options to get around the city, starting with the excellent public transport system.
Singapore’s transport system
The public transport system in Singapore is one of the best in the world. Like most other things in the city, they know how to do it well. Whilst being quite expensive and often off-limits for budget travel, moving around is without a doubt one of the easiest options. The MRT system is extremely comprehensive and you can easily cross one side of the city to other. In fact, it is unlikely that the MRT doesn’t cover the area that you need to go to. If your zone doesn’t have a station yet, never fear because the network is ever expanding and you should find that a new station will pop up near you pretty soon.
EZ Link cards
If you are using the public transport system, your cheapest bet is to buy an EZ Link card. These are pre-paid contactless cards that you can use to enter into the public transport system. You can buy them in any MRT station, as well as at certain supermarkets like 7 Eleven. However, these cards will come with a slight surcharge as commission. These cards work all over the city, on buses, trains and the metro and even work for taxis too. The system works so well that you can in fact use the cards to pay for various services at malls and restaurants. The card is SGD$5 and it comes with around SGD$7 of credit, costing $12 in total. This will get you around Singapore and the card is incredibly easy to top up, when the time comes. Using the ticket machines in the stations is the easiest way but you can also top up online and at various convenience stores. Even some ATMs will let you do it!
Singapore Tourist Pass
This is more for short-term travellers, so it might come in handy when friends and family come to visit. The pass gives you unlimited rides on the public transport system and costs $20 for a day pass, $26 for two days and $30 for three days. The card also has a $10 deposit, which you can get back once you return the card within the designated five days. The passes can only be bought at selected ticket offices, so it is best to check at the station itself and be aware that not all services are included. Night buses are extra, for example. The cards have plenty of promotional offers and if you upgrade to a Pass Plus, you get a free Bubble Jet ride around Singapore Bay.
In case the area you want to go too isn’t serviced by the train network, then you can hop on a bus. These are clean, efficient, run on time and are quite cheap too. Again, you can pay with your EZ Link card or with cash. Be aware that the buses accept the exact change only.
Whilst taxis are more expensive than using public transport, they are not even close to Western standards. If you use them carefully, you can find that they shouldn’t break the bank. They are quick, easy and convenient and you can rest assured in the fact that they won’t try to rip you off. For people travelling throughout South East Asia, this may come as a surprise but it is true! There are a few companies throughout Singapore, that all cost more or less the same, except in the case of Limousine taxis. These are not limos per se, but are in fact just nicer than average cars. Taxis are meter based and start at around $3, and if you are only travelling a short distance, shouldn’t cost too much.
Operating like the local version of Uber, this taxi service is operated by local drivers who pick you up wherever you are and take you to your destination. You can clearly see the price, as it is determined by the app and not by the driver so there is no chance that you will get ripped off. Safe, reliable and extremely convenient, Grab is the cheaper version of the local taxis and will take you anywhere in the city. The app functions quite well, and it allows you to give your driver feedback so you can be easy in the knowledge that if you have a bad experience, others can soon know about it.