Transport is an indispensable woe of all Singaporeans. In a small and extremely connected nation, our extensive and integrated transport system is one of the country’s greatest investment and asset. Our transport system is also one of the key forces that drives foreign talents into Singapore. Taking our transport services on the digital level, what are the applications to have when dealing with Transport in Singapore? We evaluate some of the free applications here for you:
1) SG Buses V3 (★★★½)
SG Buses V3 is one of the better designed bus transport application. You can choose your route via the bus service number, road names, or nearby bus stops. There is a “Bookmark” section for you to add frequent buses/stops to facilitate your usage. Tap on the black square to find out the bus waiting time and how long till the next. However, the application malfunctions at times and does not show any estimated time of the buses arrivals. This can get extremely tense when you are near the last bus service! The arrival time also differs by a minute or two due to human error or poor estimate.
2) GrabTaxi & GrabCar (★★★★)
GrabTaxi is an transport application that takes on the literal meaning of the name. The application shows you the taxis around the area and allows you to make the booking in a fuss-free way. The best thing? There will be no additional “booking fees” from the third party application. You may find out more here.
Within the GrabTaxi application, there is also the GrabCar. Almost similar to GrabTaxi, the only difference is that GrabCar are approved and licensed drivers that offer charges at a flat rate. You can choose from 4-seater, 6-seater and 13-seater cars for your journey. Partners and selected fleets are screened based on their license, records and good command in spoken language of English. Your booking confirmation notification will be received within a minute! The flat rate charge is very relevant for friends who live in the same area and have a fix amount of cash to spare for transport. You don’t have to deal with the heart-thumping fear of ticking taxi fares anymore.
3) SG Transport (★)
The application still looks like the old iOS for Apple. Maybe this is the main reason for the application’s glitch. The application closes by itself when you try to scroll down the list of bus numbers. Also, the MRT map is not updated and is pixelated at best.
4) Next Ride (★★½)
First things first: Allow your applications to use your current location. Next Ride is a more visually appeasing Street Directory – I personally find the presentation to be neater. Allow the application to use your current location and just key in your end-destination for the way there. You can choose between “Bus”, “Trains” or “Transit” though I have a little problem with the Transit segment. The application does not cleverly find you the shortest route. Notice how I started with Yishun with the end-destination Bishan, the application wants me to go a detour to Admiralty before taking a train down.
A good thing about this application is that it allows you to link up with SG NextBus or SG Buses V3. Both are similar applications in terms of usage and layout – and I believe this integration is great for convenience and ease, especially in dealing with arrival times and planning ahead.
5) Singapore Street Directory (★★★)
Street Directory is the longest running application for our transport system. It is great for Singaporeans, and even greater for tourists with the lists of offers and services in the vicinity. The application is comprehensive – giving you a rough gauge and cost of transport via various means. One complaint would be the application’s default choosing of a longer route, which I personally had accounted several times on occasions.
6) Google Maps (★★★★½)
If you don’t believe in GoogleMaps, what do you believe in? Using satellite tracking, it gives you the real time mapping, perfect when you’re lost and all alone. GoogleMaps is the best for clueless young drivers (like me) when it comes to driving to places you’re unsure the route of. Personal preference, I like to turn on the lady navigator’s voice and let her lead me while I drive or walk. The best part about GoogleMaps has to be the perspective shifts and image of actual destination (thanks to satellite imagery). However, the application may lag a little, depending on your connectivity. Also, GoogleMaps is not very effective in helping you avoid ERPs. Don’t even try.
7) MyTransport (★★)
MyTransport has a wide array of options for your viewing and knowledge, which is quite useful for a clueless person like myself. The application is easy to navigate. You can find the bus services via road names, bus stops or the vicinity. The heart-shape logo for “My Concierge” is where you can bookmark your most frequent bus services. One major complaint is the application’s lack of bus estimates and inaccuracy. The tendency for the “No Estimate Available” is higher than the rest.