how to use mrt for foreigners


Getting Around in a New Country

Moving to a new country can be a thrilling adventure, but it can also be overwhelming, especially when it comes to figuring out how to get around. As a foreigner, navigating a new city’s public transportation system can be particularly daunting.

Introduction to MRT

One of the best ways to get around in many Asian countries, including Singapore, is by using the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. The MRT is a rapid transit system that connects various parts of the city and is a convenient, efficient, and cost-effective way to travel.

Purchasing a Ticket

H3>Understanding the Ticketing System

When using the MRT for the first time, it’s essential to understand the ticketing system. Most MRT stations have automated ticketing machines where you can purchase single trip tickets or stored-value cards, such as Singapore’s EZ-link card, which can be used for multiple trips.

Purchasing a Single Trip Ticket

If you prefer to purchase a single trip ticket, simply approach the ticketing machine and follow the on-screen instructions to select your destination and make your payment. Keep in mind that some machines only accept coins or smaller denominations of currency, so it’s always a good idea to have some loose change on hand.

Getting an EZ-link Card

Alternatively, you can opt to purchase an EZ-link card, which allows for seamless travel on the MRT and buses. The EZ-link card can be easily topped up at any station or convenience store and offers a discounted fare compared to purchasing single trip tickets.

Navigating the MRT Network

Understanding MRT Maps

One of the first things to do when using the MRT is to familiarize yourself with the MRT network and its system maps. MRT maps are color-coded, clearly indicating the various lines and stations, making it easy to plan your journey.

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Reading MRT Signs

Once you’ve purchased your ticket or topped up your EZ-link card, navigate your way to the appropriate platform by following the signs throughout the station. Pay attention to the platform numbers and the direction of travel to ensure you board the right train.

Transferring Between Lines

If your journey requires transferring between different MRT lines, pay close attention to the announcements and signs to ensure you make a seamless transition. The transfer process is well-marked, and station staff are always available to help if you’re unsure.

Boarding and Riding the MRT

Boarding the Train

As the train approaches, stand behind the safety line and allow passengers to disembark before boarding. Once inside, stand clear of the doors and offer your seat to those in need, as common courtesy dictates.

During the Ride

During the ride, keep an eye on the station indicators and listen for the announcements to ensure you don’t miss your stop. MRT trains are equipped with air-conditioning, and it’s customary to keep conversations at a considerate volume.

Exiting the MRT

Alighting at Your Destination

When your stop approaches, prepare to alight as the train slows down. Follow the signs and make your way to the exit. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to ask the station staff for assistance.


Using the MRT can be an exciting and efficient way to explore a new city, providing access to various attractions and cultural experiences. With a basic understanding of how to purchase a ticket, navigate the network, and board and alight from the trains, foreign travelers can confidently and comfortably use the MRT to get around.


H3>How do I know which MRT line to take?

The most straightforward way to determine the appropriate MRT line is to consult the color-coded system map, which clearly indicates the various lines and their respective stations.

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H3>Is the MRT accessible for individuals with disabilities?

Yes, the MRT system in many countries, including Singapore, is designed to be accessible for individuals with disabilities, with elevators, tactile flooring, and designated seating available.

H3>Can I use my credit or debit card to purchase MRT tickets?

In some countries, it is possible to use a credit or debit card to purchase MRT tickets at the automated ticketing machines, but it’s always best to have local currency on hand.

H3>Are there any restrictions on bringing luggage aboard the MRT?

While there are no specific restrictions on bringing luggage aboard the MRT, it’s courteous to be mindful of other passengers and ensure that your luggage does not obstruct the aisles or doorways.

H3>What should I do if I lose my EZ-link card?

If you lose your EZ-link card, it’s important to report it as soon as possible, and in most cases, any remaining value on the card can be transferred to a new card for a small fee.