Tips and Tricks to Navigating Public Transport in Singapore

By Vesi

Singapore, often referred to as the Lion City, is a bustling metropolis known for its futuristic skyline, diverse culture, and vibrant economy. In terms of infrastructure, this city-state is the envy of other countries for having some of the best and world-class public transportation systems.

Indeed, it’s one of the many reasons why Singapore is a favorite destination for a lot of tourists. With efficient trains, buses, and taxis, travelers to the city can conveniently roam around and explore to their heart’s content. Even wheelchair-bound travelers find that the city is extremely accessible, making accommodations for disabilities that other destinations won’t often provide.

If you’re planning to travel to this cosmopolitan city, then be sure to check out this guide to help you navigate Singapore’s public transport system like a seasoned local.

  1. Buy a Local SIM for Connectivity

One of the first things savvy travelers do upon landing in Singapore is to ensure they stay connected. Look for the best SIM only plans that provide you with affordable data plans before purchasing anything. Getting the SIM with more than enough data ensures you can access crucial transportation apps, maps, and communication platforms. With a local SIM powering your smartphone, you can stay seamlessly connected as you explore the Lion City’s vibrant neighborhoods.

  1. Get the Right Stored-Value Travel Card
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In Singapore, there are a variety of stored-value travel cards for travelers and locals. These all-in-one cards can be used to pay for your train, bus, and taxi fares. What’s more, these cards are also accepted in select stores, providing an easy cashless payment alternative.

If you plan to stay longer than a few days, you may want to opt for NETS Flashpay or EZLink cards. These are what locals use, and the great thing about them is that they have a 5- to 7-year expiration, which means you can keep using them when you return for another Singapore adventure.

Meanwhile, for tourists who only plan to stay for a short trip of 3 days or less, the Singapore Tourist Pass is your best bet. Unlike the NETS Flashpay or EZLink cards, the Tourist Pass provides unlimited rides on all public transportation. However, note that there are a variety of these passes to choose from, depending on the length of your stay and other considerations, so choose the one that works best for you.

  1. Be Updated about New MRT and LRT Stations

Singapore’s commitment to enhancing its transportation network is evident in the continuous expansion of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems. In 2022, the brown Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) welcomed passengers to its Stage 3 stations, Stevens to Gardens By The Bay. Next year, the plan is to open Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore stations.

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These additional stations will make going around the city much faster and more efficient. So, stay in the loop about new stations to optimise your commutes.

  1. Download Free Transportation and Map Apps

These days, smartphones make it easy to explore destinations even if you’ve never been there before. With your phone preloaded with data, you can download different maps such as the MRT and LRT Singapore maps as well as apps showing bus stops in the city.

Some of the more popular Singapore travel apps are MyTransport.SG, CityMapper, and Gothere.SG. They provide complete information, including fares and distance, so you know exactly what to expect when using any of the city’s transportation options. You can also use Google Maps for both commuting and when walking to specific destinations. This way, you can eliminate any guesswork when navigating around the city.

  1. Download Taxi and Ride-Sharing Apps

While public transport is excellent, sometimes a taxi or ride-sharing service might be more convenient. You can download apps like Grab or TADA to save you the hassle of hailing a cab on the street.

These ride-sharing apps tend to cost more than simply hopping onto a train or bus, but it’s a more convenient and relaxing alternative to get around the city.

  1. Use the Singapore Land Transportation Fare Calculator
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For meticulous planners, the Singapore Land Transport Authority’s fare calculator is a valuable tool. By visiting their website, you can estimate the cost of your journeys in advance. This allows for better budgeting and financial planning.

  1. Avoid Traveling During Peak Hours

To truly make the most of Singapore’s public transport system, strategise your travel times to avoid peak hours. Rush periods, typically during morning and evening commutes, can result in crowded trains and longer wait times. That’s why you should plan your journeys to enjoy a more comfortable and relaxed experience on Singapore’s buses and trains.

Singapore’s public transport system is a testament to the city-state’s commitment to providing residents and visitors with a seamless commuting experience. By incorporating these tips into your travel plans, you’ll not only navigate the Lion City with ease but also gain a deeper appreciation for the efficiency and convenience that makes Singapore a must-visit destination for travelers around the globe.

About the author


I love traveling and experiencing more from different cultures. This is more than a treasure to me and it is great that my articles reach you. Looking forward to your feedback in the comments below or contact me on Google Plus.