Monday, August 6, 2012

Public Transportation in Singapore : Singapore MRT

The major railway system spanning the entire Singapore is called MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) in Singapore and is one of the most important means to commute throughout the island. Whether you are living here or visiting Singapore for a short while it worth to use it since the taxis are hard to come by and buying or renting a car is quite expensive.

If you are planning to visit here, staying in a hotel near an MRT station is a very good idea which will save you time and money. There are many hotels right next to MRT stations to choose among and since Singapore is a small city state, you can even stay in a hotel relatively outside the city center; MRT can take you to your destination in a quite short time.

Currently there are 4 MRT lines in operation. The oldest one, North South Line,  which is the first MRT line in Singapore, starts from the south of the city and after spanning towards north, it ends at Jurong East MRT station. This line is called Red Line, due to its red color in the Singapore MRT map.
Second one, East west Line, which is also called Green Line, lies between the east and the west of Singapore island. This line has an extension between Singapore Changi Airport and Tanah Merah MRT station which connects Singapore airport and Expo to the city.

 North East Line, the first fully underground line in Singapore is fully automated and driverless and colored purple.

The forth and the last addition to the Singapore MRT system is the Yellow Line, Circle Line, is also fully automated. Despite its name, it is not a closed circle loop but shaped circle and starts from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station and ends in Harbour Front MRT Station. This line has an extension which connects Marina Bay to Promonade and connects Gardens by The Bay and Marina Bay Sands casino complex to the MRT system.

Downtown Line is the next in line and its first stage is due to open in 2013.

Singapore MRT Map 2012
Singapore MRT Map 2012 - Source :

In the past 5 years, increased population, increased migration to city fringes due to ultra-high property and rent prices and run away COE prices limiting the availability of car ownership to many, the lines operates as sardine boxes in the peak hours and suffers from frequent delays and breakdown.  Still it is the only feasible transportation option for many.

Tips on utilizing MRT in Singapore
  • If you are looking for a serviced apartment, hotel or hostel near by an MRT Station, go to the, enter MRT stations name and then select Loadging --> Hostel/Hotel/Serviced Apartment from "Find Point of Interest".
  • You can reach Singapore city center from Singapore MRT using the Green Line. You need to alight at Tanah Merah MRT Station and continue on the same line to which you can take a train on the same platform. Make sure that you take the direction which is marked as To City.
  • Not all the trains on the Circle Line ends at Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station. Some ends at Marina Bay Sands so pay attention to the announced destination when you are taking a train on this line. If you are heading to Marina Bay Sands, and your train's destination is Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station, you can change trains at Promenade MRT Station.
  • If you are new to Singapore, try to rent a place near MRT which will greatly reduce your transportation cost.
  • The cheapest and most convenient places to rent a flat in Singapore are HDB/BTO buildings near MRT stations. A 3 bedroom HDB near an MRT station can be 24,000+ SGD per year cheaper than a same size private flat.

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