Public transportation is indispensable for sightseeing in Singapore. There are subways (MRT) and buses in the city, but if you’re used to the traffic situation in Japan (Especially in Tokyo and Osaka), it’s easy to focus on the subway. But the buses in Singapore are faster and more comfortable than I expected! There were almost no traffic jams, and during my stay in Singapore, I mainly used buses rather than MRT.
This time, I would like to take a look at Singapore’s fast and comfortable bus usage.
※This article was written before the virus scandal. This will be updated.
Bus route maps and timetables
The first thing you need to get on a bus in Singapore is a route map. Usually when I go abroad, I find a pdf file of the subway or bus route map of the city I’m staying at on the web, download it, put it in my smartphone and take it with me, but I couldn’t find a pdf file or an image that shows the details of the bus route map, even though there is an MRT route map in Singapore.
However, if you look at the BusRouter SG website mentioned in yesterday’s article, you can see not only the route map but also the arrival information in real time, so you don’t need a route map.
But the color-coded route map for each route is easy to see, so if you had one, you might have had many chances to use it.
There is a Key Bus Services Map at each bus stop, with a color-coded route map and tourist symbols, which should be easy for tourists to understand. If you go to a tourist information center, you may get the same one.
As for the bus schedule, the buses run every 10 minutes on the main route, and every 15 to 20 minutes if the bus goes to a slightly minor place. However, in the center of Tokyo, there are many routes that go in the same direction at the same bus stop, and there are also many routes that run in the same direction just one street apart, so it feels like you have to wait a few minutes to get there.
Hands flat. Ez-link card is a must!
Then, let’s actually get on the bus. In Singapore, when a bus arrives, the driver is signaled with one arm held flat. If you want to get on the bus behind you, you have to look at the driver’s face and tell him or her to stop by (I also have it once. …).
The buses in Singapore are pre-loaded. When getting off, it is common to exit from the back exit basically, but I saw people getting off from the front. But it will be in the way of the passengers, so it’s better to get off from the back.
An IC card “Ez-link card” is a must for getting on a bus! It’s not like you can’t get on a train without an IC card like in London, but you don’t have change for cash, so you need a lot of change and it’s troublesome to check the fare.
It seems that the use of IC cards is common even in my hometown, and I have never seen a person paying by cash while I was in Singapore.
You touch the Ez-link card reader when you get on and when you get off. The card balance is also displayed, so it is easy to understand the next charge estimate.
The inside of the car is spacious and comfortable!
The inside of the bus is larger than that of Japan. It may be a different standard, but there are 2 × 2 seats, and even if two people stand in the aisle between them, there is still space.
The seats are cushioned! The subway (MRT) is a hard plastic bench, but the bus is pretty decent. Is the concept of bus and railway different from that of Japan?
It depends on the car, but a seat belt is attached to the last seat.
There is also wheelchair space. There are flip-up chairs in Japanese buses, but there is a large space here from the beginning. This is near the exit, so this is better because it is spacious even when there is no wheelchair user.
The inside of the car is cold and the windows are dew condensation!
In Singapore, a country known for its perpetual summer, the air conditioning is so strong wherever you go that it’s cold in light clothes, but in the case of buses, it depends on the seat. I didn’t feel so chilly in the car where people always came in and out.
But the situation at the window is different. There is an air conditioner outlet above each seat, which is very powerful! You can adjust the angle of the air outlet, but even if you change the direction of the wind, the air from the air outlets in the front and back seats will hit you directly, so it doesn’t mean much.
Also, it’s kind to say that almost all the seats have a vent like this, so the wind comes from various places and it’s cold.
Therefore, sometimes the window glass dew. Of course, this is the opposite of Tokyo in the middle of winter, so there are water drops on the outside of the bus. This is a must-have stole for women, so even men may feel cold.
It’s spacious, fast and easy! The use value of the bus is high
Singapore buses can accelerate and decelerate smoothly! The roads are usually empty and fast, so it takes less time than a bus. The inside of the bus is much larger than Japanese buses, and if there were such comfortable buses in Japan, I would use them more actively on a daily basis.
But during the evening rush hour, it will take some time. Since the number of people getting on and off at each bus stop increases, the time required tends to increase, but there is almost no traffic jam (I don’t know in the morning, but …) and there is no stress.
Buses cover every corner of the city, so it’s better than the MRT, which requires you to walk underground to the nearest station! I hope you will use it well during your stay in Singapore.
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