Saturday, July 21, 2012

Navigating in Singapore

Clueless on Singapore public transport system? Read more for an overview of how to make use of the country's most efficient way of travelling, the Singapore subway or better know as the Singapore MRT.

Singapore, an island just situated south of Malaysia, connected together by the Causeway bridge. The preferable mode of transportation in Singapore is through their well connected subway known as SMRT. Think twice before boarding on a taxi because they have 25% surcharge during peak hours that begin from 6am until 9am and from 6pm until 12am. While the surcharge to and from airport cost S$5.
SMRT route map
From Changi Airport, you can locate the SMRT East West Line and travel to your desired location. Get a copy of the SMRT route map from the customer service counter and plan the most effective way to navigate their total of four different line that is colour coded, red, green, purple and orange. The white circle is interchange station whereby you can change from one line to the other without exiting the station. Therefore you can actually purchase a ticket from Changi Airport station to any other location available in the route map directly. Just remember the interchange station and made the switch accordingly. 

For payment mode, you can either purchase a Z-link card from the customer service at any SMRT station for S$12 with only S$7 value, while S$5 is the cost of the card that is non-refundable. The card value can easily be top-up at any station as well. The advantages of using Z-link card besides the obvious convenience is you can experience cheaper fare charges approximately 30%. 

Single trip ticket
If you don't want to invest S$5 for the Z-link card because you do not plan to travel extensively through SMRT, you can opt for single trip ticket that can be purchase at the General Ticketing Machines (GTMs) at the station that needs to be use on the same day. Please note that the machine will only accept the maximum value of S$5 note and if you only have S$10 note, you can make the note exchange easily at the customer service booth. Do remember to keep the single trip ticket after each usage because you can get a refund of S$1 when you return back the used ticket to any GTMs within 30 days of purchase. 

Singaporean practise priority seating for the elderly and pregnant women. Therefore, is not strange to have an unfriendly middle age woman glaring at you who are sitting comfortably. You can either offer them you sit or continue to ignore them feigning sleep if you are that selfish. Anyway, you won't miss a station because at every stop the PA system will alert you of the station name. 
Dhoby Ghaut MRT station
At some exit of the SMRT station, you can locate a nearest bus station. If you don't possess at Z-link card, do carry small change with you as they do not provide any change for the extra amount you pay. There will be noticeboard showing the no. of each bus that will pass by the station and their route map and also estimated arrival time.   

Rule of thumb while travelling in the city is whenever you find yourself lost, hop on a bus and get yourself to the nearest SMRT station and you are good to go. Is recommended to get a free tourist attraction map that is available in hotels.