Singapore is a very easy city to get from one destination to another. We are very lucky that it is a small island and will only have to travel shorter distances. We don’t foresee any long road trips in our future! In Singapore the main modes of transportation are walking, the MRT(train), buses, taxis and if your lucky like we are, our own personal vehicle. Other than having a personal vehicle, all of these choices are easily accessible and relatively inexpensive.
Walking: We do just as much walking in Singapore as we did while living in Washington, D.C. There are sidewalks and crosswalks throughout the city which make it easy and safe. One downfall of walking in Singapore is the heat! You can easily get a nice little sweat going! One way that walking is different than in the states, you really need to pay attention to what direction cars are coming from! I look left, right, in front, in back, pretty much every direction before I cross anywhere because I am still not used to cars driving on the other side of the road. I still have not figured out which side of the sidewalk to walk on when there are a little of people. My instinct is to treat it like a street and walk on the same side the cars are on and going. Here I’ve noticed its pretty much a free for all and all humble jumbled. I guess you just go with the flow!
MRT(train): A station can easily be found in most neighborhoods. There are currently four main lines that run through Singapore that have some smaller lines off shooting farther away from the city center and a new line currently being built. The MRT is one of the cleanest, easiest to understand and efficient train systems that I have seen. It is always busy, but not packed because trains run very often.
Buses: We have not rode on a bus yet, but I’m sure we will. Stations are everywhere and it is another easy method from what we hear.
Taxis: Compared to any city I’ve ever visited, taxis are dirt cheap here. For example, we took a 24km(15 miles) ride home from the Singapore American School for the 4th of July festivities, in DC that would have costs us about $40 or $50 here is cost us s$22 or about $17usd. Taxis are easy to come by and you can flag one down in most areas, wait at a taxi que, or use your smart phone to get one to your location in a jiffy. One surprise though, not many drivers know the city that well. We always have our google maps going. Our temporary housing gave us a business card with a map on it. That has been helpful to give to drivers so they can bring us home.
It is slightly weird only being a one-car family and having to relay on other forms of transportation, but in ways I don’t mind because driving here is interesting. In Singapore, you drive on the other side of the road and the other side of the car than you do in the States. It’s been hard enough trying to know where you have to look when you are walking and crossing the street, imagine driving. Taylor has had practice at this from when he spent time living in the UK, me not so much. I have driven, I didn’t hurt anyone, the car, and we arrived at our destination safely. Not only will driving take some getting used to, but being a passenger also. Sitting on the other side of the car is just weird!
The cost of owning a vehicle in Singapore is very expensive, much more than in the States. Our car is leased and a large portion of the car payment is paid by Taylor’s company. The cost of our car is $125,000, much more than $18,000 it might cost us back home. The high cost is partially due to the government discouraging personal driving, importing cars, etc. From what I understand, to even think about buying a car in Singapore you need to purchase a special “ticket” from the government for $10,000 and they only distribute so many a year. This gives you the right to be able to purchase a car. Then you need to spend the money to actually buy the car and lastly pay the fees/ taxes for registering the car another $10,000. The kicker of it all, you can only own your car for 10 years. The government puts regulations on this and after 10 years you have to go through the whole process again. There are definitely pros and cons to this crazy process!
Who would you want driving you around Singapore?!?