With the growing number of people in Singapore, it is no surprise that taking the public transport can mean that you have to jostle with the crowd – especially during the peak-hours, before and after work. While in many countries, buying a car would be a feasible mode of transportation. In Singapore, it is a well-known fact that cars are expensive. Singapore’s public transport system, which includes trains, buses and taxis, are generally very reliable, with the exception of the minor train glitches. However, the thought of squeezing into the trains and buses can be daunting and taking a taxi can be very costly – be it for locals or foreigners. Here, we’ve got some suggestions for you that may just help you survive the peak-hour rush on Singapore’s public transport!
Firstly, when it comes to taking public transport, it’s all about the timing. If you have the luxury of time, there are ways that you can avoid being packed in the trains and buses like a can of sardines. You can choose to leave for work earlier, meaning you’d be able to hop on an earlier train or bus, therefore avoiding the crowd. Usually, the public transport around 7am is still quite comfortable to take, as the mad rush in the morning begins around 8am. When it comes to leaving for home, you might want to consider delaying your journey by about an hour or two, depending on the time you end work, and hop on the trains and buses at around 7.45pm. By that time, the crowd would have subsided as the busiest time in the evening is between 6pm to 7.30pm. However, this method would only work if you have extra time on your side, with no other obligations, such as families or appointments.
If you are prepared to spend more (approximately 3 to 6 times more), then the taxis may be your choice of public transport during the peak-hours. However, do take note that there are surcharges and electronic road pricing (ERP) charges that you will have to incur on your journey. If taken twice a day on a daily basis, you will most likely be burning quite a deep hole in your pocket.
Alternatively, to make the rush-hour journey that much more bearable, you might want to consider arming yourself with an MP3 player – fully equipped with your favorite tunes. It has been said that music can help soothe nerves – which would come in handy when you are being pushed or shoved in the buses and trains. Besides, an MP3 player is more practical than reading a newspaper or a book on the buses and trains as you will barely have any space to hold your reading material (or tablets, if you read electronically) up. However, do be considerate and keep the volume on a reasonable level, so as to not annoy the passenger who may be pressed up close next to you!
Do also keep an eye out for the next bus and train times, as sometimes, an emptier train or bus follows a packed one. During the peak-hours, the waiting time between trains is much faster, usually about 2 minutes, while for a bus, it can be between 5 to 10 minutes. It might be worth your time to wait just a little longer for a comfortable journey.