Welcome to Singapore!
Singapore's public transport network consists of three parts: trains, buses, and taxis.
This guide will introduce you to how to utilise public buses and trains, about ticketing and payment, and how you can plan your journeys.
Taxis are outside the scope of this article, although this may help.
Ticketing and payment
There is a unified payment system on both buses and trains.
This means you can use a single card for travel, and that there are transfer fares available when paying using CEPAS cards.
This article will not touch on fares due to length, but in general, CEPAS card fares for basic services (i.e. excluding express and special bus services) are between SGD0.77 to SGD2.27, while cash and standard ticket fares are SGD1.30 to SGD2.60.
Both accept CEPAS contactless stored-value cards - common forms of CEPAS cards includes EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay.
Cards can be "topped-up" with value at locations including ticketing machines, and customer service counters at train stations.
A Singapore Tourist Pass is available for unlimited travel. More details are available here.
Standard tickets (for trains)
Standard tickets are tickets that can be used on trains only.
They can be used for up to six trips, and are meant as temporary tickets for those not holding a proper stored-value card.
Standard tickets can be purchased at General Ticketing Machines (GTMs). Additional trips can also be purchased and paid for at GTMs before travel at all train stations.
Standard ticket fares are higher than CEPAS card fares.
Cash payment (for buses)
Buses accept cash payments. Drivers will be able to advise you on the fare to be paid.
Payment is dropped into the coin box on the bus, and a bus ticket will be issued. Retain the ticket for the duration of the bus trip.
Cash fares are higher than CEPAS card fares.
Using your card
Tap your card on the card readers when entering, and when exiting.
The readers are found on faregates and near the bus doorways. Touch your card on the reader underneath the screen.
All bus stops, bus interchanges, and train stations have information panels with maps and service information. All MRT stations have manned service counters, which will be able to help you with directions.
You might be able to pick up a foldable system map from some places, especially train stations within the city. For bus services, SMRT has town guides with schematic maps at their interchanges, and SBS Transit has service guides for individual service on most buses.
There are two kinds of train lines in Singapore: MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rail Transit).
The train network is fully connected and integrated, and transfers can be made following signs at each station.
The train network is fully step-free, and is accessible to wheelchair users.
Trains stop at all stations - there are no express services.
Public buses in Singapore are fully integrated into the transport network.
About 50% of the bus fleet is wheelchair-accessible: wheelchairs can only be used on designated wheelchair-accessible bus routes.
Buses stop on-demand at bus stops: flag for a bus as it approaches if you wish to board, and press the stopping bell if you wish to alight.
Board buses from the front doors only; alighting can be done from all doors, although rear doors are preferred.
Finding your way around
You may find these useful for finding your way around:
Official system map for getting around the train network.
gothere.sg is an unofficial service that helps with finding routes to a destination.
publictransport.sg's map is useful for retrieving train, bus service, and bus stop information.
SBS Transit iris NextBus is the next bus estimation service for SBS Transit bus services. (mobile link here)
Transport apps: there are many available, such as:
- SBS Transit iris is an official SBS Transit app.
- SMRT Connect is an official SMRT Corporation app.
- SG Buses is a popular app available on most platforms.
- I like SingAdventure, available for Windows Phone and Windows 8.
Info + Attribution
Last modified: 28 July 2014 (11:10PM). First written: 28 July 2014 (9:00pm).
Edit history: Edited list of Transport apps.
Written in response to this /r/singapore post and many other reddit posts.
Train and Bus icons designed by Vladimir Dubinin from the Noun Project