Singapore’s MRT or Mass Rapid Transit is one of the world’s cleanest and most modern subway systems, and offers visitors an easy, comfortable and affordable way to explore the island.
Most of Singapore’s most popular tourist sights are within walking distance of an MRT station. Those that are not can be reached using a combination of Singapore’s bus network and MRT rides. Singapore’s bus interchanges are typically integrated with MRT stations, allowing seamless connections between the two modes of transportation.
MRT fares are charged according to distance and are significantly cheaper when paid for using a stored-value card like the EZ-Link card or Discover SG card.
The Singapore MRT network
Singapore’s MRT network consists of five lines—the North-South Line, the East-West Line, the Circle Line, the North-East Line and the Downtown Line. For ease of reference, the lines are colour-coded on all MRT maps and signage.
MRT operating hours are typically from about 5:30am to 12 midnight. However, depending on the stop at which you are waiting and the direction in which you are travelling, your first and last train might arrive at a slightly different hour.
In order to use the MRT, passengers typically purchase an EZ-link card or standard ticket. Beep your card or ticket at the sensors located at the gantries or bus entrances, and once again when you exit through the MRT station gantries or the back door of the bus.
An EZ-link card can be topped up repeatedly but costs a non-refundable $5. Fares paid via Ez-Link are significantly cheaper than those paid via standard ticket.
A standard ticket can be used up to six times for a maximum of two trips each time, and the purchase price includes a deposit of 10 cents. While a standard ticket is cheaper upfront, you will be charged significantly higher fares when using one to pay for a ride.
There is now a third way visitors can pay for MRT and bus rides, which is to purchase a Discover SG card. This card enables visitors to enjoy discounted ticket prices to popular attractions in Singapore, and can also be used as an EZ-Link card when taking the bus and MRT. Click here to purchase a Discover SG card online.
Where to buy your EZ-Link card, standard ticket or Discover SG card
You can buy Ez-Link cards at Passenger Service Centres located within most MRT stations, as well as at any 7-Eleven store. This 24-hour convenience store with its green, orange and red logo is ubiquitous in Singapore. An Ez-Link card costs $12 at MRT stations and $10 at 7-11 stores, including $7 and $5 worth of stored value respectively. When your card runs out of funds, you can top it up it at the ticketing machines located at every MRT station.
Standard tickets may be purchased at any of the ticketing machines located at all MRT stations. You will pay for the price of your ride as well as a refundable 10 cents for the card. You can recharge your ticket up to five times.
To purchase a Discover SG card which can be used as an Ez-Link card, click here. Your Discover SG card also entitles you to discounts at selected Singapore attractions and personal accident protection from HL Assurance, one of Singapore’s most trusted insurers.