The superb subway system, known as the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), consists of three color-coded lines: the red North-South Line, the green East-West Line, and the purple North-East lines. A new Circle Line is being constructed in stages and won't be complete until 2009. The East-West and North-South lines intersect at the City Hall and Raffles Place stops. The North-East line intersects with the East-West line at Outram Park, and with the North-South Line at Dhoby Ghaut. The MRT has more than 51 stations and is supplemented by a 14-station Light Rail System (LTR) in the island's far western regions. All trains and underground stations are air-conditioned, and the trains operate between 6 AM and midnight daily, at frequencies of three to eight minutes. Trains tend to be busiest during commuter hours (8-9 AM and 5:30-6:30 PM). Like everywhere else in Singapore, there are rules. Durians, the infamously smelly fruit of Singapore, aren't allowed on the trains or buses. There are signs posted at all stations listing the fines that can be levied if you're caught smoking, eating, drinking, or littering anywhere on the transit system.
One-use Standard Tickets are available from station vending machines (which give change). Fares, which include a refundable S$1 deposit, are between S$1.60 and S$3 and depend on which stations you're traveling between. Large maps showing fares between stations hang above each vending machine. Make sure you buy the right ticket for your destination. If you underpay you won't be able to exit the station until you pay the difference in cash to an attendant. If you plan to take public transportation more than once, you can save money by purchasing an EZ-Link stored value card for S$15 (including a S$3 refundable travel deposit). To get between Orchard Road and Raffles Place, for example, it costs S$.74 using EZ-Link and S$1 for a Standard Ticket. EZ-Link can be used on all buses and trains. You simply tap the card on the reader when you enter and exit a train station or bus and the fare is automatically deducted. Depending on your schedule, it may be cost-effective to purchase a S$45 Visitor's Card. It gives you S$10 worth of subway travel, but comes with a booklet of discount coupons for attractions, shopping, golf hotels, and restaurants.
EZ-Link. 800/767-4333. www.ezlink.com.sg.
Singapore Bus Services. 800/287-2727. www.sbstransit.com.sg.
Singapore MRT Ltd. 800/336-8900. www.smrt.com.sg.
TransitLink. 800/779-9366. www.transitlink.com.sg.
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