Owning or leasing a car is exorbitantly expensive in Singapore due to high car prices and the costly government-issued Certificate of Entitlement. Fortunately, a large fleet of taxis and a very well developed public transportation system provide excellent alternatives. Nevertheless, many expatriates choose to purchase or lease a vehicle, and thus enjoy Singapore’s very organized roadway system, with well-paved roads and lighting in almost every part of the island. Furthermore, while public transportation is excellent, you may find it necessary to own a car if you choose to live in a neighborhood or area far from bus stops, MRTs, or taxi traffic or if you have a dog.
Driving around the city is relatively convenient, with smooth roads and traffic, congestion restricted to peak hours, ample parking space, and a populace that generally follows driving and parking rules. The government has imposed a number of restrictive policies to limit car operation and congestion, including the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) requirement and the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) policy, which further add to the high cost of operating a vehicle in Singapore.
Public transport is a highly viable alternative to car ownership. Public transportation includes three main options: Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), buses, and taxis. The MRT (similar to subway systems in other cities) is the most efficient means of traveling around Singapore as it links the whole island together with a series of well-planned routes. It is also the fastest and most predictable, as the MRT is not subject to traffic conditions. The system is expanding at a rapid pace and new stations are scheduled to be opened throughout the island over the forthcoming years. The Light Rail Transit system (LRT) is a smaller version of the MRT linked to the main system, but with reduced capacity and size, serving smaller neighborhoods with minimal routes. The bus system is the next best alternative, with comfortable buses, cheap fares, and an extensive network that reaches where the MRT does not.
Taxis are the most flexible option for public transport in Singapore. With multiple companies, taxis are almost always readily available, except during peak hours and rainy days. Prices are reasonable despite recent fare increases and extra surcharges during certain times of day. In busy areas, one can simply hail a taxi roadside, but booking a taxi is also very efficient.