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Getting Around


Trishaws peaked just after WWII when motorised transport was practically nonexistent and trishaw drivers could make a tidy income. Today there are only around 250 trishaws left in Singapore, mainly plying the tourist routes. Trishaws have banded together and are now managed in a queue system by Trishaw Uncle.

You can also find freelance trishaw riders outside the Raffles Hotel. Always agree on the fare beforehand: expect to pay S$40 for 30 minutes.

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)

The efficient Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) subway system is the easiest, quickest and most comfortable way to get around Singapore. The system operates from 5.30am to midnight, with trains at peak times running every two to three minutes, and off-peak every five to seven minutes.

In the inner city, the MRT runs underground, emerging overground out towards the suburban housing estates. It consists of five colour-coded lines: North–South (red), North–East (purple), East–West (green), Circle Line (orange) and Downtown (blue). A sixth line, the Thomson–East Coast Line (brown), will open in five stages and is scheduled to begin in 2019.

You'll find a map of the network at www.smrt.com.sg.

Fares & Fare Cards

Single-trip tickets cost from S$1.40 to S$2.50, but if you're using the MRT a lot it can become a hassle buying and refunding tickets for every journey. A lot more convenient is the EZ-Link card. Alternatively, a Singapore Tourist Pass (www.thesingaporetouristpass.com.sg) offers unlimited train and bus travel (S$10 plus a S$10 refundable deposit) for one day.

Tickets & Passes

  • If you're staying in Singapore for more than a day or two, the easiest way to pay for travel on public transport is with the EZ-Link card (www.ezlink.com.sg). The card allows you to travel by train and bus by simply swiping it over sensors as you enter and leave a station or bus.
  • EZ-Link cards can be purchased from the customer service counters at MRT stations for S$12 (this includes a S$5 nonrefundable deposit).
  • The card can also be bought at 7-Elevens for S$10 (including the S$5 nonrefundable deposit).
  • Cards can be topped up with cash or by ATM cards at station ticket machines. The minimum top-up value is S$10 while the maximum stored value allowed on your card is S$500.