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Living in Singapore, from the USA

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Transport and Driving in Singapore

There is hardly a megacity of world renown that could do without an extensive public transportation system. Keep in mind that virtually the entire economy of Singapore or any other metropolis relies on people making it to work on time! Luckily, Singapore has taken care of this basic issue.

Singapore boasts one of the most modern, extensive, and reliable systems of public transport in the entire region. The undisputed backbone of the system is the metro system, dubbed Mass Rapid Transit, or MRT for short. Servicing some 140 stations at a combined track length of just over 180 km, the MRT is one of the main pillars of the daily commutes of a sizeable part of the Singaporean populace. More than two million customers use the system every day. Living somewhere the MRT does not yet service? Then just hop on one of the several dozen buses that reach into every corner of the island. Chances are that, as an expat, you will also quickly get to appreciate the excellent service of the Singaporean public transport network.

Other Means of Getting Around

As great the local public transport system might be, the one thing Singapore is unfortunately still lacking is a network of bike lanes that make it possible to use your bicycle for your daily commute. While there are a number of bike paths that make for great recreational rides, Singapore’s roads are not made to facilitate a large number (and at times, any number) of cyclists. If riding your bike every day is a necessary part of your personal routine, there is basically only the option to cycle to the nearest MRT stop. Apart from that, we unfortunately have to say that Singapore is not a bike-friendly city. Still, there is a slight silver lining we discuss in greater detail in our article on the topic.

Driving and Traffic

If you have toyed with the idea of either having your beloved vehicle shipped over to your new temporary home or assume you will be able to simply afford a new one once you have settled in Singapore, we have bad news for you. Buying, importing, owning, and maintaining a vehicle in Singapore is a luxury. This may be nearly incomprehensible to many people from countries in which driving is part of daily life. But not only is being a car owner costly, the process of becoming one (and being able to legally drive in Singapore) is riddled with red tape. If you absolutely must drive your own car while abroad in Singapore, however, our article on driving and traffic has all the necessary info for you.

InterNations Expat Magazine