Transport within Singapore is mainly land-based. Many parts of Singapore, including islands such as Sentosa and Jurong Island are accessible by road. The other major form of transportation within Singapore is rail: the Mass Rapid Transit which runs the length and width of Singapore, and the Light Rail Transit which runs within a few neighbourhoods. The main island of Singapore is connected to the other islands by ferryboat services.

There are two bridges which link Singapore to Malaysia – the Causeway, and the Second Link. The Singapore Changi Airport is a major aviation hub in Asia, and Singapore is a major transshipment port.

McKinsey’s Urban Transportation report rank Singapore's transport system world's best overall based on five criteria - availability, affordability, efficiency, convenience, sustainability. Singapore also has one of the most cost-efficient public transport networks in the world, according to a study by London consulting firm Credo. With the emergence of driverless vehicles, Singapore is now among the favourite locations for autonomous vehicles development testing location for the big players in the automotive industry. 

Rail transportEdit

Main article: Rail transport in Singapore

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)Edit

Main article: Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore) The Mass Rapid Transit, which opened in 1987, is a heavy rail metro system that serves as the major backbone of Singapore's public transport system along with public buses; as of 2019, the network has a length of Template:Convert and 119 stations. The Land Transport Authority, the main planning authority of the MRT, plans to provide a more comprehensive rail transport system by expanding the rail system to a total of Template:Convert by the year 2030, with eight in ten households living within a 10-minute walking distance of an MRT station.

The current MRT network consists of five main lines: the North South Line, East West Line and Circle Line operated by SMRT Trains (SMRT Corporation) and the North East Line and Downtown Line operated by SBS Transit. The Thomson–East Coast Line is expected to open in stages from January 2020, and two more lines, the Jurong Region Line and the Cross Island Line, will open in stages from 2026 and 2029 respectively.

Light Rail Transit (LRT)Edit

Main article: Light Rail Transit (Singapore) In several new towns, automated rubber-tyred light rail transit systems function as feeders to the main MRT network in lieu of feeder buses. The first LRT line, which is operated by SMRT Light Rail, opened in Bukit Panjang in 1999 to provide a connection to Choa Chu Kang in neighbouring Choa Chu Kang New Town. Although subsequently hit by over 50 incidents, some of which resulted in several days of system suspension, similar systems albeit from a different company were introduced in Sengkang and Punggol in 2003 and 2005 respectively, both operated by SBS Transit.

International rail linksEdit

The international railway line to Malaysia is an extension of the Malaysian rail network operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (Malayan Railways). Since 1 July 2011, Woodlands Train Checkpoint serves as the southern terminus of the KTM rail network. Previously, KTM trains terminated at Tanjong Pagar railway station in central Singapore. Two more rail links are being planned: the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail terminating in Jurong East, and the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System between Woodlands North and Bukit Chagar, Johor Bahru.

Road transportEdit


Main article: Bus transport in Singapore

Template:See also Bus transport forms a significant part of public transport in Singapore, with over 4.0 million rides taken per day on average as of 2018. There are more than 365 scheduled bus services, operated by SBS Transit, SMRT Buses, Tower Transit Singapore and Go-Ahead Singapore. There are also around 5,800 buses, both single-deck and double-deck, currently in operation.

Since 2016, the Land Transport Authority regulates the public bus service standards and owns relevant assets whereas bus operators bid for operating bus services via competitive tendering.

Buses connect various corners of Singapore, but are slower and harder to use than the MRT. The advantage though of this is you get to see the sights rather than a dark underground tunnel at a low price. You can pay cash (coins) in buses, but the fare stage system is quite complex (it's easiest to ask the driver for the price to your destination), you are charged marginally more and there is no provision for getting change. Payment with ez-link or Nets FlashPay card is thus the easiest method: tap your card against the reader at the front entrance of the bus when boarding, and a maximum fare is deducted from the card. When you alight, tap your card again at the exit, and the difference is refunded. Make sure you tap out, or you'll end up paying the maximum fare! Inspectors occasionally prowl buses to check that everybody has paid or tapped, so those who are on tourist day passes should tap before sitting down. Dishonest bus commuters risk getting fine $20 for not paying or underpaying fares (by premature tapping-out) and $50 for improper use of concession cards. Another advantage of ez-link or Nets Flashpay cards is that you will be able to enjoy distance-based fares and avoid the boarding fee.

Taxis and ridesharing servicesEdit

Main article: Taxicabs of Singapore

Taxicabs are a popular form of public transport in the compact sovereign city-state of Singapore, with fares considered low compared to those in most cities in developed countries. Starting rates were $3.20 - $3.90. As of March 2019, the taxi population has been increased to 83,037. Taxis may be flagged down at any time of the day along any public road outside of the Central Business District (CBD). However, increased usage of ridesharing services like Grab and Gojek has resulted in a decrease in the usage of taxis. In addition, this reduces the need to pay $2.30 or $3.30 (peak) booking fees, as such all ride-sharing options use fixed fares.

Taxis use meters and are reasonably priced and honest, however, a shortage of taxis in Singapore means that they are often unavailable for hours at a time. Outside weekday peak hours, trips within the city centre should not cost you more than $10 and even a trip right across the island from Changi to Jurong will not break the $35 mark. Be aware, however, that taxis are often remarkably difficult to secure, especially during peak commute or shopping hours, or when there is inclement weather. The advent of ride-sharing apps (see below) has mitigated this somewhat, though do expect surcharges during periods of high demand.

In the Central Business District, taxis may pick up passengers only at the taxi stand or buildings from their main driveways. Outside the city centre, you are free to hail from the street or book at the doorstep. Some Singapore taxi drivers have very poor geographical knowledge and may expect you to know where they should go, so it may be helpful to bring a map of your destination area or directions on finding where you wish to go. It may also be helpful to write down the address of your destination. Some cabbies may also ask you which route you want to take; most are satisfied with "whichever way is faster".

Beginning April 2018, the major rideshare competitors Uber and Grab have consolidated into a single Grab app with complete coverage and presence in Singapore; Uber will cease to operate in the country. Before arriving, download the Grab ride-hailing app. Rides are reasonably priced and the app also allows users to hail conventional taxis. Grab also has a cheaper Grabhitch option which is like Uber Pool where you share the car with strangers. Most international credit/debit cards are accepted on the app, and Grab notably allows you to pay using cash as well. Other options include Ryde and Gojek which offers competitive prices as well.

Private carsEdit

As of 2015, there was a total of 957,246 motor vehicles in Singapore, with 519,645 of them being private cars.

Renting a car is not a popular option in Singapore. It is hardly necessary since public transport sufficiently covers all areas of the island with a significant population base. If planning on touring Malaysia by car, it makes much more sense to head across the border to Johor Bahru, where both rentals and petrol are half price, and you have the option of dropping your car off elsewhere in the country. This also avoids the unwelcome extra attention that Singapore-registered plates tend to get from thieves in Malaysia.

One rental company called smove offers electric vehicle rentals. With a $19 registration fee, you can rent the electric car from 15 minutes to a full day. Since the cars are battery powered, you save on the cost of gas. They offer their service in the Buona Vista area of Singapore.

All passengers must wear seatbelts and using a phone while driving is banned. Drink-driving is not tolerated: the maximum blood alcohol content is 0.08%, with roadblocks set up at night to catch offenders, who are heavily fined and possibly jailed. Even if your blood alcohol level does not exceed the legal limit, you can still be charged with drink driving if the police are convinced that your ability to control the vehicle has been compromised by the presence of alcohol (i.e. if you get involved in an accident). The police do conduct periodic roadblocks and speed cameras are omnipresent. Fines will be sent by mail to you or your rental agency, who will then pass on the cost with a surcharge. If stopped for a traffic offense, don't even think about trying to bribe your way out.

Roads and expresswaysEdit

Main article: Driving in Singapore Singapore pioneered the modern use of toll roads to enter the most congested city centre area with the Singapore Area Licensing Scheme, which has since been replaced with the Electronic Road Pricing, a form of electronic toll collection.
  • Total length of expressways: 161 km
  • Total length of major arterial roads: 645 km
  • Total length of collector roads: 557 km
  • Total length of local access roads: 2048 km (as of 2011)

Traffic drives on the left which is typical in Commonwealth countries.

The planning, construction and maintenance of the road network is overseen by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), and this extends to expressways in Singapore. These form key transport arteries between the distinct towns and regional centres as laid out in Singapore's urban planning, with the main purpose of allowing vehicles to travel from satellite towns to the city centre and vice versa in the shortest possible distance. These expressways include:

The influence of expressways on Singapore's transport policy developed shortly after independence during the history of Singapore because of frequent traffic congestion in the Central district. The aim was to encourage residential development in other parts of the island and give residents in these new "satellite towns" a convenient link between their homes and their workplaces (which were mostly situated around the city centre.)

Causeway and link bridgeEdit

Singapore has two land links to Malaysia. The Johor-Singapore Causeway, built in the 1920s to connect Johor Bahru in Johor, Malaysia to Woodlands in Singapore, carries a road and a railway line. The Tuas Second Link, a bridge further west, was completed in 1996 and links Tuas in Singapore to Tanjung Kupang in Johor.


Before World War II, rickshaws were an important part of urban public transportation. Rickshaws were taken over by the trishaw after the world war as the former was banned in 1947 on humanitarian grounds.

Usage of trishaws as a means of transportation had died out by 1983. However, there are some trishaws left which now serve as tourist attractions, taking tourists for a ride around the downtown district.

Air transportEdit


There are six local scheduled service airlines, all of them operating from Singapore Changi Airport, offering scheduled flights to over 70 cities on six continents:

The national flag carrier, Singapore Airlines, operates from Changi Airport Terminal 2 and 3. Its subsidiaries, SilkAir and Scoot, operate from Changi Airport Terminal 2.

Singapore's budget airlines, Jetstar Asia Airways operates from Changi Airport Terminal 1.

Singapore Seletar Airport has also been reopened to the public, with Firefly services operating out of Seletar Airport.


Main article: List of airports in Singapore The aviation industry is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, a statutory board of the Singapore government under the Ministry of Transport.

An open skies agreement was concluded with the United Kingdom in October 2007 permitting unrestricted services from Singapore by UK carriers. Singapore carriers were allowed to operate domestic UK services as well as services beyond London Heathrow to a number of destinations, including the United States along with Canada.

Singapore Changi Airport, with its four terminals, is one of the most important air hubs in the region. The international airport is situated at the easternmost tip of the main island, and serves 185 cities in 58 countries. With the recent opening of the fourth terminal, Changi is now capable of handling more than 70 million passengers every year.

Seletar Airport is Singapore's first civil aviation airport and is primarily used for private aviation. The airport also serves regular commercial flights by Firefly to its Subang Airport hub. Limited scheduled commercial flights are also conducted by Berjaya Air to the Malaysian islands of Tioman Island and Redang Island.

Airport and airbase technical data
Airport ICAO IATA Usage Runway Length
Paya Lebar Air BaseWSAPQPGMilitaryPaved124003800Former civilian
Seletar AirportWSSLXSPCivilian/MilitaryPaved60231836Mainly non-scheduled flights
Sembawang Air BaseWSAGMilitaryPaved3000914
Singapore Changi AirportWSSSSINCivilianPaved132004000
Tengah Air BaseWSATTGAMilitaryPaved89002713


Main article: List of heliports in Singapore

Aerial lift transportEdit

Cable carEdit

The Singapore Cable Car is a three-station gondola lift system that plies between Mount Faber on the main island of Singapore and the resort island of Sentosa via HarbourFront. Opened in 1974, it was the first aerial ropeway system in the world to span a harbour. The cable car system underwent a revamp that was completed in August 2010.

In addition, a similar gondola lift system also operates within Sentosa as the Sentosa Line and was opened in 2015. This line links Siloso Point to Imbiah.


Maritime transportEdit

Ports and harboursEdit

The Port of Singapore, run by the port operators PSA International (formerly the Port of Singapore Authority) and Jurong Port, is the world's busiest in terms of shipping tonnage handled. 1.04 billion gross tons were handled in 2004, crossing the one billion mark for the first time in Singapore's maritime history. Singapore also emerged as the top port in terms of cargo tonnage handled with 393 million tonnes of cargo in the same year, beating the Port of Rotterdam for the first time in the process. In 2006, it handled a total of 448 million tonnes of cargo.

Singapore is ranked second globally in terms of containerised traffic, with 21.3 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) handled in 2004, and is also the world's busiest hub for transshipment traffic. Additionally, Singapore is the world's largest bunkering hub, with 23.6 million tonnes sold in 2004.

In 2007, the Port of Singapore was ranked the world's busiest port, surpassing Hong Kong and Shanghai. The Port of Singapore is also ranked the Best Seaport in Asia.

Ports and Harbours Data
Port Operator Type Berths Quay length
Quay cranes Area
Capacity (kTEUs)
Brani (BT)PSA InternationalContainer931790,000
Cosco-PSA (CPT)Cosco/PSA InternationalContainer2720228,000>1 million
Keppel (KT)PSA InternationalContainer1436960,000
Pasir Panjang (PPT)PSA InternationalContainer12491,770,000
Pasir Panjang WharvesPSA InternationalGeneral
SembawangPSA InternationalGeneral
Tanjong Pagar (TPT)PSA InternationalContainer827840,000

Passenger transportEdit

Water transport within the main island is limited to the River Taxi along the Singapore River. The service was introduced in January 2013, with low ridership. There are also daily scheduled ferry services from the Marina South Pier to the Southern Islands such as Kusu Island and Saint John's Island.

Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC) runs Tanah Merah and HarbourFront Ferry Terminals which are connected by ferry services to Indonesian Riau Islands of Batam, Bintan and Karimun.


Further readingEdit

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External linksEdit

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