The public transportation system in Singapore is one of the best in the world, offering well planned, efficient and convenient transportation options to visitors and locals alike. While automobiles are commonplace, the majority of students, locals, expats and tourists all take public transportation within the city.
MASS RAPID TRANSIT (MRT)
The subway train system in Singapore is called the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). These trains are clean, well-maintained, and run from 5:30am to 12:30am. Fares range from S$0.80 to S$1.80. You can purchase an ez-link prepaid card at most MRT stations, which is a more convenient way to pay your MRT or SBS bus fares. This is a contactless store-value card which is predominantly used for paying public transport fares (buses, the MRT and select taxis). The cost of your journey will be automatically deducted when you alight from the bus/MRT. The ez-link card costs $15 and can be purchased from any MRT station or bus interchange.
There are over 50 MRT stations throughout Singapore, making this a convenient way to travel. UNLV Singapore is strategically located between 2 MRT stations; City Hall (North-South line) and Bugis (East-West line).
Bus fares range from S$0.80 to S$1.70. Drivers do not give change, so make sure you have exact change. You can also pay with a pre-paid ez-link card, available for purchase at most MRT stations. An easy way to find the appropriate bus lines for your journey is to visit the SBS Transit website. The front page has a convenient search feature which allows you to enter your origin and destination. It will then provide you with bus information and fares for your route.
Taxis in Singapore are more affordable than in some cities and are very common. You can get a taxi in Singapore by:
1) Waiting in line at a taxi stand
- Taxi stands can usually be found at popular commercial centers, shopping malls and near bus stands.
2) Flag down a taxi from the sidewalk
- Stand on the sidewalk and hold out your arm when you see an available taxi heading your way. Most taxis will display a green “TAXI” sign or phone number on their marquee when they are available. Red signs reading “HIRED”, “ON CALL” or “BUSY” mean that the taxi is not available. On occasion, taxis that are empty may pass you by, or taxi drivers may refuse to take you once they know your destination. Don’t worry; it’s nothing personal. In these cases, the drivers are usually ending their shift and do not want to go out of their way.
3) Calling a Taxi
- This option hires you a specific taxi and is convenient during busy peak hours or when you cannot find a taxi stand. When you call to book a taxi, an additional booking fee is added to your fare. This booking fee ranges from S$2.50 to S$8.00, depending on whether or not it is a “peak” period. Advanced booking (half an hour or more in advance) costs S$5.20.
- Most taxis responding to a booking call will display a red “ON CALL” sign on their marquee. When you book a taxi, you will be given the taxi number (license plate number) so that you can identify your taxi when it arrives. You may also get a phone call to let you know that your taxi has arrived.
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