My recent trip to merlion city of Asia – Singapore was indeed very fruitful. I achieved and accomplished my primary reason of travelling – to do an international bench-marking as part of my final requirement to finish my degree. Admittedly Singapore was just a fall out plan but turned out to be a pretty good alternative of my top choice. Malaysia and Thailand were my target due to financial consideration and the vibrant culture that we can emulate. However, due to last minute craze, I opted to visit Singapore instead via bus from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
So far I have couple of things that I find interesting during my 3-day stay the trans-shipment port capital of Asia. But for now I will just highlight one of them – the transport system. That includes the public utilities such as taxis, buses, monorails and trains.
First thing you should get when you arrive in Singapore is to get their transport pass at the nearest train station. You the option to get the one time pass, which is I don’t recommend because it will be costly, unless someone will drive you through the metropolis. You can purchase this one time pass at a fee depending on the next train station.
Another option is the cost-efficient suited for those budget travelers and backpackers. You can get the permanent ezLink card at an initial cash of 12 Singaporean dollar with 7 SGD pre-loaded in it. Once you consume the load, fret not because this card is re-loadable anytime at the nearest station. This is a great deal if you frequent in Singapore because the card has 5 years expiry date. So you can use it anytime if you are in Singapore within its expiration period.
Another advantage of this card is the wide range acceptability in all transportation except taxis. The minimum charge per ride, depending on the distance, is 70 cents compared to 1.3 SGD if you pay in cash. That is 60 cents savings per ride, multiplied it to the number of times you use the buses, trains and monorails in a day. You do the math as how many savings you make.
One peculiar thing about the bus drivers though is that they wont give you a change if you don’t have the exact amount should you opt not to buy the ezLink. My friend who works as a tourist guide in Singapore explained that the bus drivers don’t take any money from the passengers because there is a designated box near the bus entrance for you to put in your exact payment. He added that buses are operated and controlled by their government. Very efficient indeed.
Lastly, my eyeballs grew as one of the locals explained to me the linkages of the public transportation and technology. Mytransport.sg is a mobile application that can be downloaded in android and iOs smart phones to know the timing and the bus number dropping by the bus stops. It provides the commuters a free hand to plan out their day to day journey within the metropolis. Hmmm, I am thinking if Cebu or Manila can do the same. I guess not in my lifetime. 😦