The MRT is probably the most convenient, quickest and cheapest way to get around in Singapore. MRT stations can be found in almost all major retail, business and housing estates.
There are 3 MRT lines that run thoughout the island – 1. East-West Line (Green), 2. North-South Line (Red), 3. Circle Line (Yellow). The train travel time between each MRT station is about 2 to 3 minutes on average. The wait time can range between 2 to 6 minutes, depending on the time of the day and the train route. Operating hours are from about 5.30am to about midnight.
MRT fares range from $0.73 to $1.96 using an EZ-Link card, or $0.93 to $2.20 using a Standard Card (one-time use). As you tap in and out at the MRT gantries, the fare is calculated and automatically deducted from your card.
EZ Link card
The EZ-Link card is THE card you need for getting around in Singapore. You can use it to take the bus or train. You may purchase the card from any Ticket Office or Passenger Service counters that can be found at all the MRT stations and some bus interchanges. The purchase amount is $12, of which $5 is for the cost of the card (non-refundable), and $7 as stored value for transport.
*Do note that the minimum value in your card has to be at least $3 before you are able to you are able to tap your card and enter at the gantry.
If you’ll be in Singapore for just a day or two, you can choose to purchase a Standard Card instead, which allows you a single ride just to your destination. This can be purchased at the General Ticketing Machine (GTM). You will find that the train fare includes an extra dollar (for the card). This is refundable by inserting the card back into the GTM upon reaching your destination.
If there are insufficient funds, simply top up your card using at the GTM (located at all MRT stations) or at the Passenger Service counters where a staff will assist you.
For more information on the EZ-Link card, click here.
! Stick to the rules
You might have heard that Singapore is a ‘fine’ city, so we’d advise that you stick to the rules while in the stations or trains!
*No littering (a standard rule across Singapore)
*No eating or drinking
*No durians on board
…and be gracious!
*Give up your seat to those who need it more than you do – pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled etc.
*Keep to the left of the escalators if you are not in a hurry.
*Try not to fart as it could get crammed so, please spare a thought for the other commuters.
*Queue behind the lines indicated on the train platforms and allow commuters to alight first before boarding.
*Tip! Travelling out to the city from Changi Airport is very convenient and cost effective via the MRT. Just take the MRT out 2 stops and alight at Tanah Merah MRT to transfer trains to get to the city.
Light Rail Transit (LRT)
The LRT is basically a mini version of the MRT. There are 3 LRT lines – Bukit Panjang, Seng Kang and Punggol. The LRT lines cover just the respective housing estates. If you’re touring Singapore, you would probably not need to take the LRT as these estates are situated on the outskirts of Singapore. Ticketing wise, it works the same way as that of taking the MRT.
*To understand how to take a public bus in Singapore, click here!