An online diary of someone who tends to forget easily.

Life in SG: Transportation

In this post I will share about Transportation. I find it very difficult to explain because there's just so many things I want to share about this topic. I mean, I have to admit that I'm not good when it comes to directions so this is really one of the things that I worry when we started living here. In the PH it's easy since I just go to places near our house or office, and sometimes I'm with my friends or family to help me in case I don't know the place right? But here? It's like I have to depend on myself. Gyun Wo is with me but he is not always by my side as he needs to do things for himself, right? So that really scared me. So let's start.

It is often said that getting around Singapore is a breeze. There is no traffic unlike in PH. Almost all of the vehicle owners and drivers are disciplined enough that they follow the traffic rules. If the light turns orange/yellow, then they will slow down, if it's red, they will stop, and if it's green, they will go. It's as simple as that. It's fast, convenient, and safe.

Here in SG when it comes to Transportation you have 3 options - taxi, bus, and train.

1) Taxi - We only take a cab either because we are really late and the bus or train is taking so long to arrive, or because it's too late that we missed the last trip for both. Otherwise, we usually take bus and train. The starting fare is $S2-3. I can't share much about this because we don't usually take cabs unless we have no choice. You can pay by cash or ezlink card or nets. You can Google the terminologies for more information.

2) Bus - My favorite especially if I get to sit in a comfortable spot. There are different types of buses with different numbers that go to different routes. 
Bus Stop - check the bus stop name and number, there are also bulletin boards that are always in each bus stop with the bus numbers and the bus stops that they pass by. For example: Bus Stop Name: Blk 953, Bus Nos. that pass by on the stop: 70, 70M, 103, 854, etc., For each of this bus number the bus stops they pass by are also listed. 

Taking a bus. If you are taking the next bus, it's better to stretch your hand and make sure the driver sees it before he even approach the stop where you are waiting. Drivers are known as bus captains If you know how to call a pedicab or tricycle driver or taxi, it's similar when calling the attention of a bus captain. Once it stopped, get in and tap in using ezlink card. (EZLINK Card - a prepaid card that you need when it comes to taking buses, trains, or even taxis. You can usually buy this on all MRT stations.)

Inside the bus. Most of the buses and trains have these reserved seats for pregnant women, elders, disabled, and those that are with kids. If you see these seats better avoid sitting on them. I usually sit at the back if there's available seats. If you're using Google Maps, well you better use it, so you'll know how many bus stops will it take before you'll reach your destination. Gyun Wo and I used to count the bus stops and sometimes we still do that. Hehe. Or better if you sit near the window where you can easily see the name for each bus stop as you enjoy your ride. 

Getting Off. When it's time to get off, when you're quite near to your target bus stop you will need to press the STOP button that you can see on all poles inside the bus. Or if you see the BUS STOPPING label at the top near the mirror of the bus captain, if the label becomes RED or lit then it means someone already pressed the STOP so you don't need to press again. Tap out using ezlink card. Do not forget to tap in and tap out. If you don't tap in then it means you did not pay your ride. You can't tap out because you did not tap in. But if you did tap in and forget to tap out, well the fare for the last destination of the bus will be charged in your card. By the way, you need to get in the bus on the entrance door which is usually the one near the bus captain, and the exit door is usually located at the back.

3) Train - If you want the fastest way to get somewhere then take the train. Hah! MRT has yellow/circle line, purple line, green line, and red line. You might want to check the latest MRT Map of Singapore if you want to know more about the colored lines I'm talking about. I always have this MRT Map photo on my phone because to be honest until now I don't memorize the whole map. Hah! So yeah, you will really need this to be saved in your phone. 

Entrance/Exit. You will need to ask Google about it. These are usually near bus stops and malls. You just have to be observant to things and places around you. To find your way inside the mrt station you have to read the signs and observe where people are going. Once you found your way in, use your ezlink to tap in and wait for your train. There are a lot of signs and sometimes they might look complicated or confusing but they are not. You just need to relax, read, and think. There are also MRT maps inside the station and staff that you can approach in case you don't know what to do. Hah!

There are usually monitors that shows when will it arrive. Once the train arrived get in and get off in the right stop. Tap out and get out the station in your target exit.

Aside from Google Maps you can also check which can be of big help when you're getting around SG and you're alone. It will tell you which exit to take in order to get to your destination. Google Maps is great when checking if you're walking in the right direction or if you're near or far from your target bus stop as it lists the bus stops that you will pass by as you ride the indicated bus number. On the other hand, will help you which exit to take and its more easy to understand but not so detailed I guess.

By the way, it's also important to make sure that you have at least S$5 in your ezlink card before tapping in when you're taking trains. There are general ticketing machine inside the mrt station where you can 'top up' which means add value to your ezlink card. There are instructions how to do it so you don't need to worry. 

If you're like me who is not so good when it comes to balance, make sure that you hold onto the poles as you ride buses and trains. If you cannot find one then position your feet in a way that you won't stumble as the ride becomes bumpy. Not sure what term to use but there. Hah!

Once you're done with buses and trains and you're on your way to finding the building or mall or place you want to visit, use Google Maps and if it's not helping, it's better to ASK. Sometimes it's also important to analyze the direction being suggested by Google Maps because you can't always rely on it. There's this one time that it suggested to walk around in order to get to our target destination when we can do a shortcut which is better.

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