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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Singapore > Singapore City

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Getting around Singapore

Public transport

Public transport in Singapore is efficient, clean and cheap. The metro system is operated by Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) (tel: 1 800 336 8900, in Singapore only; www.smrt.com.sg), which includes the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and Light Rapid Transit (LRT) services.

The bus system is operated by the Singapore Bus Service (SBS) (tel: 1 800 225 5663, in Singapore only; www.sbstransit.com.sg) and SMRT Buses. EZ-link smart cards (www.ezlink.com.sg) are widely used on any MRT, LRT or bus journey, and can be purchased and topped up online or at stations. As cash payment is rare, you need to prepare exact change when taking a bus and the same journey also costs more in cash than using an EZ-link smart card. 

For visitors, it's also worth considering the Singapore Tourist Pass (http://thesingaporetouristpass.com.sg) for unlimited travel for one, two or three days. This pass is sold at selected metro stations.

Taxis

Taxis are cheap, metered, safe and air-conditioned, but they can be hard to find during peak hours, especially in the Central Business District (CBD). Fares are subject to surcharges for advance booking and tolls, but it is not customary to tip.

Major taxi firms include Comfort (tel: +65 6555 1188), CityCab (tel: +65 6552 1111), SMRT Taxis (tel: +65 6555 8888), Premier Taxis (tel: +65 6363 6888) and Trans-Cab (tel: +65 6555 3333).

Driving

The highways are easy to negotiate. Singaporean drivers have a habit of lane-drifting and undertaking, but otherwise traffic flows smoothly, with few abuses of etiquette. Parking is reasonably cheap and multi-storey carparks are widely available.

Various tolls are levied to relieve congestion on busy roads, using the Electronic Road Pricing Scheme (ERP) which automatically deducts tolls from the In-vehicle Unit (IU). The unit is fitted in all Singaporean vehicles and uses a rechargeable CashCard. For foreign vehicles not fitted with an IU, drivers can pay a daily fixed ERP fee on departure from Singapore with the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP).

Car hire

A valid national driving licence is required to hire a car in Singapore (check if you will also need an International Driving Permit) plus a passport and credit card. Minimum third-party insurance is compulsory and can be extended to cover Malaysia.

Major providers include Avis (tel: +65 6737 1668; www.avis.com.sg) and Hertz (tel: +65 6734 4646; www.hertz.com.sg).

Bicycle hire

Bike sharing schemes were being decommissioned.

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