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Transit Tales A Singapore Public Transportation Guide

Transit Tales: A Singapore Public Transportation Guide

The Lion City’s public transportation system is highly regarded as one of the best and most efficient in the world. Owing to the country’s great optimisation of its road network, it’s hard to miss out on using the trains and buses to get around. 

First time in Singapore? Use this Singapore public transportation guide as a cheat sheet to get around the city like a local!

About Singapore’s Public Transit System

About Singapore’s Public Transit System

Singapore’s public transit system comprises the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), public bus systems, and taxis. All these public transportation networks are regulated by the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA).  

Almost all modes of public transportation in Singapore serve the whole main island. 

According to Statista, over 6.3 million Singaporeans use some form of public transportation in Singapore, with 2.7 million of them using the MRT daily. 

Despite the number, the most popular mode of transportation around the city is still the bus network, with an average of over 3 million daily passengers in 2022 alone. 

Taxis are also popular among passengers who prefer comfort and space when travelling to and from areas in Singapore. They are particularly common for tourists getting to and from the Singapore Changi Airport, hotels, and shopping centres. 

The EZ Link Card and Singapore Tourist Pass

As of March 2022, the LTA has suspended one-way tickets to any station in Singapore. Therefore, passengers (local and foreign) must secure an EZ-Link Card or Singapore Tourist Pass to top up and pay for train and bus fares. 

The EZ-Link Card is an account-based stored value card that Singaporeans use to pay for public transport.  

Fares are calculated based on the distance between one station to another. 

With the EZ-Link Card, passengers can store money, top-up their balance remotely through the EZ-Link App and pay for fares. 

The Singapore Tourist Pass, on the other hand, grants tourists one to three days of unlimited rides on all modes of public transport (except taxis and Sentosa Express) for a fixed fee. 

Tourists can use this pass as much as they like, so long as the pass hasn’t expired. Refer to the chart below for rates and pass info:

Singapore Tourist PassSG Tourist PassRED SG Tourist Pass Singapore Tourist Pass Plus
1/2/3 days3 days3 Days3 days
Unlimited ridesUnlimited ridesUnlimited ridesUnlimited rides
$10 deposit requiredNo deposit requiredNo deposit requiredNo deposit required
No bundlesNo bundlesNo bundlesInclusive of postcards, a $5 voucher to Changi Travel Concierge Services, and a one-hour bus tour



In Singapore, there are about 140 MRT stations and 40 LRT stations in the Rail Network. For the MRT system, six lines serve the island while the LRT system has three. 

Both rail networks are run by the SMRT Corporation and SBS Transit and operate daily from 5:00 am to 12:00 am. 

East-West LineNorth-South LineNorth East Line
Changi Airport
Pasir Ris
Tanah Merah
Paya Lebar
City Hall
Raffles Place
Tanjong Pagar
Outram Park
Tiong Bahru
Buona Vista
Jurong East
Chinese Garden
Boon Lay
Joo Koon Gul Circle
Tuas West Road
Tuas Link
Jurong East
Bukit Batok
Bukit Gombak
Choa Chu Kang
Yew Tee
Yio Chu Kang
Ang Mo Kio
Toa Payoh
Dhoby Ghaut
City Hall
Raffles Place
Marina Bay
Marina South Pier
Outram Park
Clarke Quay
Dhoby Ghaut
Little India
Farrer Park
Boon Keng
Potong Pasir
Circle LineDowntown LineThomson-East Coast Line
Marina Bay
Dhoby Ghaut
Bras Basah
Nicoll Highway
Paya Lebar
Tai Seng
Lorong Chuan
Botanic Gardens
Farrer Road
Holland Village
Buona Vista
Kent Ridge
Haw Par Villa
Pasir Panjang
Labrador Park
Telok Blangah
Bukit Panjang
Beauty World
King Albert Park
Sixth Avenue
Tan Kah Kee
Botanic Gardens
Little India
Telok Ayer
Fort Canning
Jalan Besar
Geylang Bahru
UbiKaki Bukit
Bedok North
Bedok Reservoir
Tampines West
Tampines East
Upper Changi
Woodlands North
Woodlands South
Bright Hill
Upper Thomson
Orchard Boulevard
Great World
Outram Park
Shenton Way
Marina Bay
Gardens by the Bay
Bukit Panjang LRT LineSengkang LRT LinePunggol LRT Line
Choa Chu Kang
South View
Keat Hong
Teck Whye
Bukit Panjang
Cheng Lim
Coral Edge
Sam Kee
Teck Lee
Punggol Point
Soo Teck

While single-trip tickets have been phased out in Singapore, people with EZ-Link Cards pay a minimum of $0.99 for a ride in the MRT or LRT. As fares are based on distance, the average rate per kilometre is $0.08. 

If you take the MRT or LRT before 7:45 am, however, the starting fare lowers to $0.49. 



Singapore’s Bus Network comprises five different types of bus services, all of which serve specific purposes for public transport around the city. These are the Trunk, Feeder, Premium, City Direct, and Shuttle Bus services. 

The Bus Network is operated by SMRT Buses, SBS Transit, Tower Transit Singapore, and most recently, Go-Ahead Singapore. All bus services follow the LTA’s Bus Contracting Model, which groups them into bus packages.  

Trunk and Feeder Buses

The Trunk and Feeder Bus Services are the most common service types in Singapore and mainly take passengers to and from towns and between neighbourhoods and MRT stations. 

The Feeder Bus, in particular, takes passengers to different housing and industrial areas in the city from MRT stations and bus interchanges. 

Premium and City Direct Buses

The Premium Bus Service mainly serves passengers heading to the Central Business District or industrial parks from various residential areas in Singapore. 

On the other hand, the City Direct Bus takes passengers mainly to the Central Business District only. 

A notable trait of the two bus services is that they only serve passengers during peak hours (typically 7:45 am to 9:00 am and 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm). The City Direct Bus, however, only serves passengers on weekdays. 

Refer to the chart below for Premium and City Direct Bus routes:

Premium BusCity Direct Bus
525: Buangkok Crescent to Marina Boulevard
531: Simei to Shenton Way/Anson Road
539: Pasir Ris Drive 3 to Temasek Boulevard
545: Bedok North Avenue 4 to Fullerton Road
550: Sumang Walk to Fullerton Road
555: Bukit Batok West Avenue to Beach Road
560: Pandan Valley to Temasek Boulevard
565: Ah Hood Road to Phillip Street
573: Yishun Avenue 2/Avenue 5 to Pasir Panjang Road
574: Upper Serangoon Road to Anson Road
575: Sengkang East Road to Upper Cross Street
591: Punggol Drive to Anson Road
592: Sengkang West Way to Anson Road
593: Punggol Way to Changi Business Park
722: Senja Road to Cecil Street
723: Buangkok Green to Upper Cross Street
728 Sengkang West Avenue to Changi Business Park
729: Punggol Field to Alexandra Road
731: Punggol East to Robinson Road
7736: Tampines Avenue 9 to Temasek Boulevard
740: Sembawang Drive to Changi Business Park
742: Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 to Changi Business Park
753: Flora Road to Anson Road
762: West Coast Road to Beach Road
767: Elias Road to Beach Road
776: Sembawang Road to Changi Business Park
651: Opp Blk 276B to Marina Bay Financial Centre
652: Opp Sembawang Hills FC to Opp MAS Bldg
653: Bef Summerhill to Marina Bay Financial Centre
654: Farmway Stn Exit A to Opp MAS Bldg
655: Bet Blks 50/51 to Marina Bay Financial Centre
656: Blk 424A CP to Opp MAS Bldg
657: Blk 538 to Marina Bay Financial Centre
660: Opp Blk 968 to Opp MAS Bldg
661: Blk 479 to Marina Bay Financial Centre
663: Bet Blks 405/406 to Opp MAS Bldg
665: Blk 32 to Opp MAS Bldg
666: Damai Stn Exit A to Marina Bay Financial Centre
667: Blk 308 to Marina Bay Financial Centre
668: Opp Blk 649 to Marina Bay Financial Centre
670: Opp Blk 288 to Marina Bay Financial Centre
671: Opp The Rivervale to Marina Bay Financial Centre
672: Blk 568 to Marina Bay Financial Centre
Shuttle Bus Services

Shuttle Bus Services are operated specifically to cater to passengers heading to main tourist attractions, landmarks, and points of interest around Singapore. Most shuttles are privately owned either by a bus company or an establishment.

Some shuttle buses serve hospitals, offices, and shopping malls, either for a small fare or for free.

Depending on where you are, you’re most likely to find shuttle bus stations in front of a tourist centre or within the premises of a landmark. 

Refer to the chart below for shuttle bus lines and routes:

Shuttle Buses to AttractionsShuttle Buses to Hospitals
Suntec City to Orchard Road Raffles Boulevard to Orchard Road
Raffles Boulevard to Selegie Road
Suntec City to Kreta Ayer Suntec City to Clarke Quay
Resorts World Sentosa to Harbour
Front Station
Beach Road/Havelock Road to Mandai Wildlife Reserve
Suntec City to Singapore Zoo and Night SafariBedok to Mandai Wildlife Reserve
Sengkang to Mandai Wildlife Reserve
Khatib to Mandai Wildlife Reserve
Changi General Hospital to Simei MRT Station
Gleneagles Hospital to Camden Medical Centre
Gleneagles Hospital to Youth Park
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to Bugis
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to Novena
Mount Alvernia Hospital to Bishan
Mount Alvernia Hospital to Youth Park
Parkway East Hospital to Eunos MRT Station
Singapore General Hospital to Multi Storey Car Park
Singapore General Hospital to Outram Park MRT Station
The Integrated Building CGH to Simei MRT
Thomson Medical Centre to Novena MRT Station
Campus Shuttle Buses Shuttle Buses to Shopping Malls
One-north Rider
NUS Internal Shuttle Bus
NTU Campus Rider
International Business Park Shuttle
Great New World City to Newton MRT
Great New World City to Chinatown MRT
Great World City to Queenstown MRT
Marina Square to Marina Boulevard
Thomson Plaza to Braddell MRT
Thomson Plaza to Marymount MRT
Gain City to CCK MRT
Gain City to Yew Tee MRTHillV2 to Bukit Gombak MRT
Sembawang Shopping Centre to Yishun
Sembawang Shopping Centre to Sembawang Sembawang Shopping Centre to Woodlands
Sembawang Shopping Centre to Woodlands Industrial Area
Sembawang Shopping Centre to Yishun Industrial Area
Tampines Retail Park to Tampines MRT
Tampines Retail Park to Bedok MRT
Tampines Retail Park to Pasir Ris MRT
Tampines Retail Park to Sengkang MRT
Changi Airport to Changi Business Park
Downtown East to Pasir Ris MRT
Katong V Mall to Paya Lebarmy
Village Serangoon to Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2Punggol Plaza to Punggol Estate
Rivervale Mall to Sengkang EstateI
KEA Alexandra to Buona Vista MRT
IKEA Alexandra to Redhill MRTIKEA Alexandra to Tiong Bahru MRTNE
West to Clementi MRT
The Grandstand to Botanic Gardens / Sixth Avenue
man getting a ticket in a machine

Average bus fares differ if you pay with cash or with your EZ-Link Card. The starting fare for card users is $0.99 and $1.70 for cash users. 

Fares are also calculated based on distance, with an average of $0.08 per kilometre beyond the minimum 3.2 kilometres ($0.99). 



Taxi rides around Singapore are preferred by passengers who need to get to areas in the city that can’t be reached by train or bus. 

In most cases, people choose taxis or even ride-hailing apps to get to and from Singapore Changi Airport, restaurants, famous Singapore landmarks, and hotels

This is because taxis allow you to carry items, small or big, with you as you travel from one destination to another. Some companies may offer wedding car rentals for an additional charge using a specific fleet of premium sedans or limousines. 

There’s also the option to hire a private driver-for-hire, especially if you’re visiting Singapore with a big group. 

Fares and Starting Price

Taxis in Singapore are metred and follow a taxi fare structure regulated by the LTA. The structure comprises four types: Distance and Time-Based, Surcharges, Flag-down, and Bookings. 

Taxis also charge different starting fares based on the type of car used (standard or premium). Premium cars are generally luxury cars or SUVs, accommodating passengers who require more space and comfort. 

Refer to the chart below for fare comparisons:

Flag-Down FareDistance and Time-Based
Standard Taxi$3.90 to $4.30Flag-down fare + $0.25 for every 400 metres and + $0.25 every 350 metres past 10 kilometres
Premium Taxi$4.10 to 5Flag-down fare + $0.36 for every 400 metres and + $0.36 every 350 metres past 10 kilometres
Standard Taxi25% of metred fare on rides taken on weekdays from 6:00 am to 9:30 am, and 6:00 pm to 12:00 am. 
50% of metred fare on rides taken between 12:00 am to 6:00 am. 
Plus $3 on rides within the City Area taken between 5:00 pm to 11:59 pm. 
Plus $8 on rides to and from Changi Airport taken between 5:00 pm to 11:59 pm. 
Plus $3 on rides to and from Changi Airport taken before 5:00 pm. 
Plus $3 on rides to and from Gardens by the Bay
Plus $3 on rides to and from Resorts. World Sentosa
Plus $2 on rides to and from the Singapore Expo Centre.
Plus $3 on rides to and from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
Plus $5 on rides to and from Marina Bay Cruise Centre between 7:00 am to 11:00 am. 
Plus $3 on rides to and from Marina Bay Cruise Centre before 7:00 am and after 11:00 am. 
Booking fees vary between taxi companies and peak periods (6:00 am to 9:30 am and 6:00 pm to 12:00 am). 

Premier Taxis
Peak Period: $4.50
Standard: $2.50

Trans Cab
Peak Period: $3.20
Standard: $2.30

Strides Taxi
Peak Period: $3.20
Standard: $2.30

Prime Taxi
Peak Period: $3.50
Standard: $2.50

Comfort City
CabPeak Period: $3.30
Standard: $2.30
Premium Taxi25% of metred fare on rides taken on weekdays from 6:00 am to 9:30 am, and 6:00 pm to 12:00 am. 
50% of metred fare on rides taken between 12:00 am to 6:00 am. 
Plus $3 on rides taken on Sundays and Public Holidays from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm in Marina Bay Sands.
Same as above

Tips To Remember When Using Singapore’s Public Transit System

Tips To Remember When Using Singapore’s Public Transit System

1. Don’t eat or drink when riding on a bus, train, or taxi.

In case you didn’t know, Singapore has some very strict laws when it comes to cleanliness and littering, so drinking or eating, especially finger foods like pizza or chips, when taking public transit is highly frowned upon. 

In fact, doing so may incur fines of up to $500! 

2. Keep your music to a low.

While not necessarily illegal, blasting your music to full volume when riding public transport is not appropriate. Be mindful of your surroundings and the other passengers seated near you (even if you’re wearing headphones!). 

3. Don’t try to squeeze into packed train coaches.

If you see a full coach, don’t try to work your way into fitting inside when it means pushing or shoving other passengers. Trains and buses in Singapore have an average interval time of five minutes, so just sit and wait for the next ride. 

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