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Living in Singapore
Taxis and Cycling in Singapore
If neither driving yourself nor using the MRT and bus networks seems to be just the right option for you, you might have somewhat of a hard time getting around in Singapore, particularly if you are keen on walking everywhere. The two remaining methods are either taking a cab or cycling in Singapore.
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- There are not many cycling routes in Singapore available and riding on the sidewalk is not permitted.
- In the future, the city hopes to provide all 26 HDB towns with cycling paths.
- Taxis in Singapore are readily available and offer competitive prices.
Keeping in mind the way housing developments, parks, and business districts are structured in Singapore, it might be feasible to go about your day-to-day business, such as shopping, on foot. However, there will be only very few expats who will not need to make use of other modes of transportation on a regular basis. As we have covered the two most dominant transportation options — public transportation and cars — in separate articles, we’ll take a look at the rest here. However, there are only really two options remaining: taking a cab and riding a bike.
While cycling does indeed enjoy a certain degree of popularity in Singapore, one might jump to the assumption that most people preferred to ride a bike in a city where land is scarce and driving a car is a luxury to an almost mind-boggling degree.
In reality, however, cycling in Singapore can often be less than enjoyable or feasible. While there are a fair number of people commuting to work within their town or from one town to another, the road infrastructure in Singapore was clearly not designed with the cyclist in mind.
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Cycling in Singapore takes place on the side of the road, for all intents and purposes related to commuting, at least. Cycling on the sidewalk is not permitted. There is a noticeable lack of bike lanes, particularly along the main traffic roads. The existing designated bike lanes are rather off-road, oftentimes called “park connectors”, running from one public green space to another.
You could argue, however, that the space between the curb and the yellow line on the streets can be seen as a sort of makeshift bike lane. However, that area varies drastically in width, depending on the street, and it can often be only 60cm (or less) wide. At times, cycling in Singapore’s streets can be a less than safe undertaking: you will probably hear about cyclist fatalities several times a year.
Policy Changes Ahead?
Though interest in designated bike lanes in the streets is on the rise, the Singaporean government seems to be interested in continuing their bike lane policy in the years to come. According to the National Cycling Plan, Singapore intends to provide all of the 26 HDB towns with intra-town cycling paths by 2020.
The main aim here seems to be to facilitate commuters with a quick and green means of getting to their nearest MRT/LRT stop or to other amenities in the vicinity of their homes. Promoting cycling in Singapore as a real alternative to public transport or driving still is an infrastructural issue that needs to be addressed.
Other steps towards becoming a more bike-friendly city include ample new parking possibilities for bikes at MRT stations (which is a lot less trivial than you might think, considering that parking offences will lead to having your bike wheel clamped) and the possibility of taking your bike along with you in the MRT and bus. There is a definite catch, though — bikes have to be foldable (not exceeding 114 cm by 64 cm by 36 cm when folded), and there is a limit as to how many bikes are allowed at any one time.