Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What I like about Singapore, Part 3

The public transportation.
Ok, so this is actually a mixed "like/dislike" because my liking the public transportation has come out of my not liking being car-less.

Yes. In case you didn't realize, we do not have a car. Not even one. We went from being a 2-car family that spent a good majority of our time in our cars to a 0-car family. Now Gander spends a good deal of time on airplanes, taxis, and buses and the girls and I spend a good deal of time in buses and a little time in taxis. We also have the option of going on the MRT (train) but it's about a 15+ minute walk to the station from our condo so that's why we usually opt for a bus, or a taxi if we're in a hurry, I have lots of groceries, or I'm feeling especially self-indulgent.

The public transportation is dependable, easy to use, and takes me almost anywhere I need to go. I don't usually have to walk more than 5-10 minutes to get to a bus stop. No, it's not as convenient or quick as a private car but it does the job.

Even more impressive is how clean the public transportation vehicles and MRT stations are. It really is amazing! I took the MRT yesterday and I was literally thinking that the train "sparkled." Yes, "sparkled" was the exact word for it. It was beyond clean. The buses don't quite sparkle but I have yet to see one that has graffiti or more than a tiny bit of litter.

On the topic of "easy to use" - we have these cards called EZ Link cards that we use to pay for bus/train trips. Much easier than dealing with money! And I can use my NETS card (basically what we call an ATM/bankcard) to "top up" the EZ Link cards with more money. Even cooler, I can use the EZ Link card to pay for McDonald's. Oh wait... I'm trying to avoid that place so I won't eat another apple pie.

I have become pretty good at reading a bus schedule and figuring out how to get places, if I do say so myself. Gander, of course, would prefer to just take a taxi but, as for me, I enjoy the logic "puzzle" of trying to figure it all out. Shouldn't be surprising if you know Gander and me -- he likes to get things done quickly while I tend to drag things out; he doesn't mind spending more money to get there quickly while I am pleased with myself for getting a "bargain." And a "bargain" is just what the bus is! Depending on where I go, it can be less than $1 to get there, maybe a little more than a $1 if it's a longer trip.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an adjustment to not have your own wheels to get around in. But like you said it's fortunate that the Singapore public transportation is clean and dependable. While traveling abroad I development an appreciation for subways. We had fun on the Tube. So quick and easy to get to place to place and so orderly. But when we went to Italy it was a different story. So glad that your system is great.