Why is Singapore MRT so good
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Why is Singapore MRT so good?

Public transportation in Singapore is one of the nation’s best features, and the highlight is undoubtedly its Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. I’ve traveled to a few countries myself, and I have to say that Singapore’s MRT outshines them all. 

The MRT system is just comprehensive and convenient!

I can go on and on about everything related to Singapore’s MRT system, and that’s why I wrote this article. I prepared all you need to know about the MRT in Singapore so by the time you visit, you can explore the island like a pro!

All About the Singapore MRT

All About the Singapore MRT

Singapore’s MRT system began operating in November 1987, making it the oldest metro system in Southeast Asia. Aside from that, it’s also one of the busiest and most comprehensive because it encompasses a total length of 231 km. 

There are plans to expand the system—be it adding new lines or new stations to existing stations. Specifically, it’s expected that the length will be doubled to roughly 450 km by 2040.

What are the different lines of Singapore MRT?

What are the different lines of Singapore MRT

As of now, the Singapore MRT system has six lines and a total of 134 operational stations. These lines are arranged in a circle-radial topology, and they’re distinguished by their respective colors.

For more information, here are the different lines of Singapore MRT and their respective stations.

North-South Line

— From: tsuba1985

The North-South Line is the first MRT line to be built in Singapore, and it’s still one of the most utilized to this day. It’s colored red on the Singapore rail map. 

This line is about 45 km long, with a total of 30 stations (two of them are infill stations). It runs from Jurong East station, which is located in the West Region, to Marina South Pier station, which is in the Central Area. 

Station Name Station Code Interchange Station (If Available)
Jurong EastNS1, EW24, JE5
  • East-West Line
  • JRL East Branch (2028)
  • Jurong East Bus Interchange
  • Bukit BatokNS2N/A
    Bukit GombakNS3N/A
    Brickland (infill station)NS3AN/A
    Choa Chu KangNS4, BP1, JS1
  • Bukit Panjang LRT
  • Jurong Region Line (2027)
  • Choa Chu Kang Bus Interchange
  • Yew TeeNS5N/A
    Sungei Kadut (infill stations)NS6, DTDowntown Line (mid-2030s)
    WoodlandsNS9, TE2
  • Thomson-East Coast Line
  • Woodlands Bus Interchange
  • AdmiraltyNS10N/A
    SembawangNS11Sembawang Bus Interchange
    YishunNS13Yishun Bus Interchange
    Yio Chu KangNS15Yio Chu Kang Bus Interchange
    Ang Mo KioNS16, CR11
  • Cross Island Line (2030)
  • Ang Mo Kio Bus Interchange
  • BishanNS17, CC15
  • Circle Line
  • Bishan Bus Interchange
  • BraddellNS18N/A
    Toa PayohNS19Toa Payoh Bus Interchange
    NewtonNS21, DT11Downtown Line
    OrchardNS22, TE14Thomson-East Coast Line
    Dhoby GhautNS24, NE6, CC1
  • North East Line
  • Circle Line
  • City HallNS25, EW13East-West Line
    Raffles PlaceNS26, EW14 East-West Line
    Marina BayNS27, CE2, TE20
  • Circle Line Extension
  • Thomson-East Coast Line
  • Marina South PierNS28
  • Marina South Pier
  • Marina Bay Cruise Center
  • East-West Line

    — From: translas_transportation_2021

    The East-West Line is the second MRT station to be built in Singapore, and currently, it holds the title as the longest line in the system—with a total length of 57.2 km. 

    Colored green on the rail map, the East-West Line has 35 stations, running from Pasir Ris to Tuas Link. Around eight of these stations are located underground.

    Station Name Station Code Interchange Station (If Available)
    Pasir RisEW1, CR5, CP1
  • Cross Island Line (2030)
  • CRL Punggol Extension (2032)
  • Pasir Ris Bus Interchange
  • TampinesEW2, DT32
  • Downtown Line
  • Tampines Bus Interchange
  • SimeiEW3N/A
    Tanah MerahEW4 CG
  • EWL Changi Airport Branch Line (until 2040)
  • Thomson-East Coast Line (after 2040)
  • BedokEW5Bedok Bus Interchange
    EunosEW7Eunos Bus Interchange
    Paya LebarEW8, CC9Circle Line
    KallangEW10Lorong 1 Geylang Bus Interchange
    BugisEW12, DT14Downtown Line
    City HallEW13, NS25North-South Line
    Raffles PlaceEW14, NS26North-South Line
    Tanjong PagarEW15N/A
    Outram ParkEW16, NE3, TE17
  • North East Line
  • Thomson-East Coast Line
  • Tiong BahruEW17N/A
    Buona VistaEW21
  • Circle Line
  • Buona Vista Bus Interchange
  • Ghim Moh Bus Interchange
  • Dover (infill station)EW22N/A
    ClementiEW23, CR17
  • Cross Island Line (2032)
  • Clementi Bus Interchange
  • Jurong EastEW24, NS1, JE5
  • North-South Line
  • JRL East Branch (2028)
  • Jurong East Bus Interchange
  • Chinese GardenEW25N/A
    Boon LayEW27, JS8
  • Jurong Region Line (2027)
  • Boon Lay Bus Interchange
  • PioneerEW28N/A
    Joo KoonEW29Joo Koon Bus Interchange
    Gul CircleEW30N/A
    Tuas CrescentEW31N/A
    Tuas West RoadEW32N/A
    Tuas LinkEW33Tuas Bus Interchange
    ExpoCG1, DT35Downtown Line
    Changi Airport CG2Changi Airport Bus Interchange

    Take note that the Changi Airport Line (both Expo and Changi Airport stations) will be integrated into the Thomson-East Coast Line by 2040.

    North East Line

    — From: neliluo and agustinus05_

    The plan for the North East Line came to be when congestion on roads leading to the northeast suburbs was constantly happening back in the 1980s. But it was only in 1997 that the construction began, and in 2003, the line was opened to the public.

    As of now, the line has 16 stations, with some of them serving popular neighborhoods like Little India and Chinatown. The North East Line is colored purple on the rail map.

    Station Name Station Code Interchange Station (If Available)
    HarbourFrontNE1, CC29
  • Circle Line
  • HarbourFront Bus Station
  • Outram ParkNE3, EW16, TE17
  • East-West Line
  • Thomson-East Coast Line
  • ChinatownNE4, DT19Downtown Line
    Clarke QuayNE5N/A
    Dhoby GhautNE6, NS24, CC1
  • North-South Line
  • Circle Line
  • Little IndiaNE7, DT12Downtown Line
    Farrer ParkNE8N/A
    Boon KengNE9N/A
    Potong PasirNE10N/A
    SerangoonNE12, CC13
  • Circle Line
  • Serangoon Bus Interchange
  • KovanNE13N/A
    HougangNE14, CR8
  • Cross Island Line (2030)
  • Hougang Central Bus Interchange
  • BuangkokNE15N/A
    SengkangNE16, STC
  • Sengkang LRT
  • Sengkang Bus Interchange
  • PunggolNE17, PTC, CP4
  • Punggol LRT
  • CRL Punggol Extension (2032)
  • Punggol Bus Interchange
  • Circle Line

    — From: kazamahusein

    The Circle Line currently runs an incomplete loop from Dhoby Ghaut station to HarbourFront station. But by 2026, the loop will be complete once the extension from the Promenade station to HarbourFront is finished.

    The interesting thing about the Circle Line is that it’s the second line in Singapore that’s completely automated and driverless. It’s also the country’s first medium-capacity line, which means that the train has a three-car configuration. 

    It’s colored orange on the map and has 30 stations.

    Station Name Station Code Interchange Station (If Available)
    Dhoby GhautCC1, NS24, NE6
  • North-South Line
  • North East Line
  • Bras BasahCC2N/A
    PromenadeCC4, DT15
  • Downtown Line
  • Marina Center Bus Interchange
  • Nicoll HighwayCC5N/A
    Paya LebarCC9, EW8East-West Line
    MacPhersonCC10, DT26Downtown Line
    Tai SengCC11N/A
    SerangoonCC13, NE12
  • North East Line
  • Serangoon Bus Interchange
  • Lorong ChuanCC14N/A
    BishanCC15, NS17
  • North-South Line
  • Bishan Bus Interchange
  • MarymountCC16N/A
    CaldecottCC17, TE9Thomson-East Coast Line
    Bukit Brown (infill station)CC18N/A
    Botanic GardensCC19, DT9Downtown Line
    Farrer RoadCC20N/A
    Holland VillageCC21N/A
    Buona VistaCC22, EW21
  • East-West Line
  • Buona Vista Bus Interchange
  • Ghim Moh Bus Interchange
  • one-northCC23N/A
    Kent RidgeCC24 N/A
    Hawa Par VillaCC25 N/A
    Pasir PanjangCC26 N/A
    Labrador ParkCC27 N/A
    Telok BlangahCC28 N/A
  • North East Line
  • HarbourFront Bus Interchange
  • Sentosa Express VivoCity
  • Singapore Cable Car Mount Faber Line
  • HarbourFront Center
  • Singapore Cruise Center
  • Downtown Line

    — From: splow2008

    The Downtown Line is another medium-capacity MRT line in Singapore, and it’s about 41.9 km long, with 34 stations. These stations are all located underground, making this line the longest underground and automated rapid transit line in Singapore.

    The Downtown Line is colored blue on the rail map.

    Station Name Station Code Interchange Station (If Available)
    Sungei Kadut (infill station)DT, NS6North-South line (mid-2030s)
    Bukit PanjangDT1, BP6
  • Bukit Panjang LRT
  • Bukit Panjang Bus Interchange
  • CashewDT2N/A
    Hume (infill station)DT4N/A
    Beauty WorldDT5Beauty World
    King Albert ParkDT6, CR15Cross Island Line (2032)
    Sixth AvenueDT7N/A
    Tan Kah Kee DT8N/A
    Botanic Gardens DT9, CC19 Circle Line
    Stevens DT10, TE11Thomson-East Coast Line
    NewtonDT11, NS21North-South Line
    Little IndiaDT12, NE7North East Line
    BugisDT14, EW12East-West Line
    PromenadeDT15, CC4
  • Circle Line
  • Marina Center Bus Interchange
  • BayfrontDT16, CE1Circle Line Extension
    Downtown DT17N/A
    Telok AyerDT18N/A
    ChinatownDT19, NE4North East Line
    Fort CanningDT20N/A
    Jalan BesarDT22N/A
    Geylang BahruDT24N/A
    MacPhersonDT26, CC10Circle Line
    Kaki BukitDT28N/A
    Bedok NorthDT29N/A
    Bedok ReservoirDT30N/A
    Tampines WestDT31N/A
    TampinesDT32, EW2
  • East-West Line
  • Tampines Bus Interchange
  • Tampines EastDT33N/A
    Upper ChangiDT34N/A

    Thomson-East Coast Line

    — From: alkabajpai28

    The Thomson-East Coast Line is the most recent line built in Singapore, and it’s also one that’s completely underground. Its length is about 43 km, and it currently has 22 stations, with more coming in the next few years. 

    This line’s route is a combination of north-south and east-west. It starts in the north at Woodlands town, then heads south to Orchard Road and Marina Bay, before running eastward along Kallang, and then it ends at Upper East Coast.

    On the rail map, it’s colored brown. 

    Station Name Station Code Interchange Station (If Available)
    Woodlands NorthTE1, RTSJohor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (2026)
    WoodlandsTE2, NS9
  • North-South Line
  • Woodlands Bus Interchange
  • Woodlands SouthTE3N/A
    Bright HillTE7, CR13Cross Island Line (2030)
    Upper ThomsonTE8N/A
    CaldecottTE9, CC17Circle Line
    StevensTE11, DT10Downtown Line
    Orchard BoulevardTE13N/A
    OrchardTE14, NS22North-South Line
    Great WorldTE15N/A
    Outram ParkTE17, EW16, NE3
  • East-West Line
  • North East Line
  • MaxwellTE18N/A
    Shenton WayTE19 N/A
    Marina BayTE20, NS27, CE2
  • North-South Line
  • Circle Line Extension
  • Gardens by the BayTE22N/A

    Future Expansions

    — From: bennysaik

    There are still future expansions being planned for Singapore’s MRT system. Most of these expansions are just new stations added to the existing lines or changes in the route. 

    That said, there are two major expansions that are coming in the 2030s and 2040s. These are two new MRT lines, namely the Jurong Region and Cross Island Lines. 

    The Jurong Region Line was initially planned as an LRT line, but eventually, it was upgraded to a medium-capacity MRT line. It’s expected to serve the areas of the West Coast, Tengah, Choa Chu Kang, and Jurong.

    Meanwhile, the Cross Island Line is planned to be the MRT line to span the island of Singapore. It will be connected to all the other major lines, so hopefully, commuting and traveling will feel even more streamlined than before.

    What are the operating hours of Singapore MRT?

    What are the operating hours of Singapore MRT

    Generally speaking, MRT lines operate for 20 hours every day—from 5:30 am to 1 am. The only strict exceptions for this are during certain holidays and events, such as New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Deepavali, and Hari Raya. 

    That said, there are some rare occurrences when the MRT lines close early or open later. But these occurrences are most likely due to an unexpected event or accident, so don’t expect the operating hours to change much.

    How do I buy tickets for Singapore MRT?

    — From: ms.persian_rose

    Unlike other countries that still use a physical ticket to ride a train, Singapore’s MRT system makes use of contactless smart cards entirely. 

    You have to buy an EZ-Link card, which costs S$12 (already includes a S$7 credit that you can use for train rides). You can also purchase the NETS Prepaid, which can be used to pay public transit fares and select merchants. 

    Once you’ve used up your credits for your card, you can top it up at these following places:

    • General Ticketing Machines (GTM) at train stations
    • TransitLink Kiosks located in MRT stations, bus interchanges, and integrated transport hubs
    • TransitLink Ticket Offices
    • Convenience stores (e.g. 7-Eleven and Cheers)
    • DBS, POSB, and OCBC ATMs
    • AVS Stations

    If you use an EZ-Link card, you can use the EZ-Link app to top it up.

    Singapore Tourist Pass

    — From: kanitoma69 

    If you’re a tourist who’ll be staying in Singapore for a few days, then I highly suggest that you get a Singapore Tourist Pass. This pass is a special kind of EZ-Link card that provides you with unlimited travel for one, two, or three days. 

    You can purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass at selected TransitLink Ticket Offices, Singapore Visitors Centers, and Passenger Service Centers. These offices and centers can be found in the following stations:

    • Ang Mo Kio
    • Bayfront
    • Bugis
    • Changi Airport (Terminal 2)
    • Chinatown
    • City Hall
    • Farrer Park
    • HarborFront
    • Jurong East
    • Lavender
    • Maxwell
    • Orchard
    • Raffles Place
    • Somerset (Concession Card Replacement Office)
    • Woodlands

    What about Singapore LRT? Is it connected to MRT?

    — From: temasekaperture

    Looking at the tables with the various MRT stations, you might have noticed that some interchange stations are LRT stations. 

    This might lead you to ask a few questions: what’s an LRT station in Singapore? How is it different from MRT?

    Basically, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) is a series of localized automated guideway transit systems that serve as feeder services to the MRT. In Singapore, the LRT is connected to a public housing estate to make it easier for the residents to travel. 

    Since the LRT isn’t intended for wide travel, there are only three lines available in Singapore: Bukit Panjang, Sengkang, and Punggol. These lines act as interchange stations to their respective MRT stations.

    What makes Singapore MRT great?

    Jam-Packed with Facilities

    (From: Joel G. Wagan)

    One of the best things about the MRT stations here is that they’re jam-packed with facilities. All stations have platform screen doors for your safety and lifts and climate control for your comfort. 

    You can even connect to the Wi-Fi, which is great if you need to stand by and work for a bit or just scroll through social media while waiting for your ride. 

    And of course, there are also accessibility provisions for people with disabilities. So, everyone can safely navigate the MRT station. 

    Extensive Network and Fast Trains

    — From: adibmohdzain

    The MRT system is quite an extensive network. There are six lines and over a hundred stations with interchange stations. 

    Plus, there are more lines and stations coming in the future!

    Because of this, it’s easy to travel from one side of the island to another, which is great news if you really want to explore as much of Singapore as you can.

    In addition to that, the MRT trains are high-speed, so you can get to your destination in no time. 

    There’s no need to worry about getting stuck in traffic. Now, you can just focus on visiting all the landmarks in your itinerary. 

    Affordable and Convenient

    — From: amdg1556

    Another feature that makes Singapore’s MRT system a cut above others is its affordability. Singapore is notoriously known for its high cost of living, but luckily, riding the train is quite affordable.

    Aside from that, it’s just convenient to ride the MRT. The stations are strategically located, so people can easily get to them however they want—be it taking a taxi or bus to the station or simply walking. 

    What are some tips to consider when riding the Singapore MRT?

    What are some tips to consider when riding the Singapore MRT
    • Download the MyTransport.SG app. This is a mobile app developed by SMRT itself, and it’s a multi-modal journey planner. It lets you check nearby MRT stations and even send real-time traffic news.
    • Make use of the charging station if needed. If you’re traveling extensively around Singapore, your phone might die before you know it. If you don’t have a power bank, just head to a station and ask the staff where the charging station is.
    • When you have spare time, stop by a mall. The great thing about MRT stations is that many of them are connected to a shopping mall. Because of this, you can choose to go on a shopping spree before setting out to travel! 
    • Ride the train in the morning. This is a hack that tourists usually don’t know: MRT fares are cheaper (usually, the discount is about S$0.50) when you ride the train before 7:45 am on weekdays. So, take advantage of that when you can!