using public transport & life without a car

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mrs.r
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using public transport & life without a car

Post by mrs.r » Tue, 17 Apr 2012 6:04 pm

Hi

My husband is in Singapore at the moment, he is in a Serviced Apartment, doesn't have far to travel to work and has only good things to say about the MRT. We are moving from London so in comparison the public transport in Singapore is a dream.

I am moving out with in the summer with our 2 children who will be 5 and 1 years old. We will not be buying a car.

I am looking forward to exploring our new surroundings but I will need to get about with a baby in a buggy.

Is it easy/accessible to travel with a buggy on the bus system?
Are there lifts and easy access on/off the MRT?

What are your experiences of public transport with small children in tow?

How have you adapted to your new life without a car?

Thank you in advance.
Mrs.r

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 17 Apr 2012 7:56 pm

This has been discussed several times and the pros & cons discussed about cars vrs public transport and even to which buggy & way or why not. Use the excellent search facility located at the upper right side of the page just under the Profile link.

Should just about get you sorted.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

mrs.r
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Post by mrs.r » Wed, 18 Apr 2012 6:12 am

OK, Thanks.

Maybe I am not searching properly but it seems to bring up all sorts when I try searching. Any tips?
Mrs.r

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 18 Apr 2012 7:12 am

mrs.r wrote:OK, Thanks.

Maybe I am not searching properly but it seems to bring up all sorts when I try searching. Any tips?
You may do the search for: pram bus. Do it for all the words (as opposite to the default "any"). You will see many relevant threads already by the subject lines.

To summarize briefly:
- pram + bus do not go in Singapore together (unless the pram is an umbrella foldable), This is to that extent that the driver may not let you in to an almost empty bus and nobody will help you to put the pram inside.
- MRT: no problem (yes, there are lifts).

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Post by Zeenit » Wed, 18 Apr 2012 9:41 am

Frst come and make up your own mind. We came from London and my husband was against the MRT as he was use to the Underground and hated it. Now we have MRT and taxi.

Give it 3 months and then decide.

Good luck
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mrs.r
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Post by mrs.r » Wed, 18 Apr 2012 3:21 pm

Thank you.
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Post by movingtospore » Sat, 28 Apr 2012 1:21 pm

I did this for a year, nearly lost my mind, and eventually bought a vastly overpriced car. But I am much happier now. That said, we don't live in the city centre, so getting around by bus is not as easy as it would be closer to a train station.

A few things to keep in mind:

- it's really @#$# hot here. and it pours rain pretty much once a day, and I mean pours
- although singapore is much better than other asian cities on the accessibility front, it's not great. so you will be walking along with your stroller, then have to get both kids out of the stroller to go up and down stairs to access the other side of a street etc
- the MRT can be very, very crowded and nobody gives a rat's a$$ about making room for you and your stroller
- bus drivers will not wait for you and your kids to get on and get settled before they're off the races again - and they insist that you get the kids out of the stroller, folder the stroller up etc. - at the same time the people sitting in the "reserved" seats at the front will not get up to let you and your kids in those seats unless you force them to. if it's rush hour and the bus is crowded good luck with that. All loads of fun when the bus is speeding off again and you're trying to balance two children, a stroller, all your stuff, and yourself.
- the entire city is in a permanent state of construction, so getting from a to b is not that quick anymore, even with a car. and if you're going somewhere that's not on the train lines, it can take a very long time.
- taxi drivers are maniacs. enough said if you're worried about car seats etc.

If I was young, single, living close to the CBD etc I would never get a car. But as I am old, impatient and have two young kids, it's is worth every penny. But that's just me. :)

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Post by x9200 » Sat, 28 Apr 2012 3:29 pm

We lived in Singapore for 10y without having a car but we bought one as soon as our kid grew over the group 1 car seat (the back facing type). At this point using the cabs was not feasible any longer unless you want to compromise ion your kid's safety.

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Post by poodlek » Sat, 28 Apr 2012 3:40 pm

x9200 wrote:We lived in Singapore for 10y without having a car but we bought one as soon as our kid grew over the group 1 car seat (the back facing type). At this point using the cabs was not feasible any longer unless you want to compromise ion your kid's safety.
Now that my little one is grown out of the baby car seat I don't really go anywhere with him I can't get to on the MRT. I will take the bus if I have my husband with me also so one of us can handle the babe and one the stroller when getting on/off. When he was smaller I carried him in a wrap on the bus and it was pretty easy, aside from being hot, but we're always hot anyway.

If I had a second child here, I would strongly consider getting a domestic helper before a car. Of course there are many pros/cons but a DH would be a lot cheaper than owning and operating a vehicle.

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Post by BigSis » Sat, 28 Apr 2012 5:52 pm

A friend of mine used to lease a car - you could look into that.

we moved here with a 3 and a 5 year old and that was 'doable' because we no longer had a pram. Manouvering a baby, pram and small child onto a bus isn't the easiest thing - MRT would be better in this case.

Some of the buses advertise themselves as wheelchair friendly but from what I've heard, for some reason, you still have to fold your pram up before getting on.

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Post by aster » Mon, 30 Apr 2012 5:22 pm

Zeenit wrote:Frst come and make up your own mind. We came from London and my husband was against the MRT as he was use to the Underground and hated it. Now we have MRT and taxi.

Give it 3 months and then decide.

Good luck
I'd recommend the same - give it 3 months and then see if you really need a car.

I have two kids and find the MRT+bus network perfectly fine for my needs, with taxis making up for the rest - no need to pay for the car, insure/wash/maintain it, or even park it, and it comes with a driver too.

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Post by JR8 » Mon, 30 Apr 2012 6:07 pm

That only 10% of the population have cars speaks volumes.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 30 Apr 2012 8:22 pm

I've owned three cars here (at one point, two at the same time but only one licensed driver in the house - me. This is back in the early '90's when I had a Cortina and a classic Mini Cooper MkII that I rebuilt in my back yard in Seletar Camp. After the COE system started in '91 it was time to put them on it and I said Nah! I ain't gonna be part of this. It's only going to get higher and higher cause the majority race here would sell their grandmother to buy a car if they had to. Little did I know that what would have cost me around $1200 at the time would, in the space of 3 years peak out at $110K for a COE in Dec 1994.

I've never owned a car here since and found, once I got over the initial withdrawal symptoms (Yanks get their first car at 16 and are never without wheels of their own thereafter if at all possible). I quite prefer using the MRT and Buses and the very, very occasional Taxi (only if the company is reimbursing me!) With a good set of headphones, and a PDA or now Galaxy Tab, or at worst, one of the free broadsheets in the morning why the heck would I want to put up with idiot local drivers and Foreigners trying to assimilate/imitate local drivers. Nah, you can have it.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by zzm9980 » Mon, 30 Apr 2012 8:49 pm

I'm opposite of SMS. With a 1yr old, I love having one. If I lived within walking distance of an MRT I might reconsider, but busses suck with a kid and stroller. It's so much easier to go out and about with a car. The lack of street parking takes getting used to, but I find the car parks shockingly cheap usually. The traffic doesn't bother me much either, having learned to drive in Chicago. The local Chinese population where I lived in California prepped me for the driving styles of Singaporean drivers. Lastly, I've only been here 10 months, but I think I'd go insane without the ability for a quick weekend road-trip. Singapore gets immensely boring rather quickly.

Luckily, my company gives a stipend towards it.I'd have a hard time justifying it otherwise.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 30 Apr 2012 9:25 pm

Ahah! There's the rub. I've always paid my own way and the convenience never justified the cost. When driving in Malaysia, I usually take a taxi to Johor and rent a car in JB. That way I don't really have to worry about my car getting ripped off or worse, being held up/accosted by crooked patrolmen (it does happen with some regularity from what I've been told) just because I've got Sing plates.

But I can agree with zzm9980 re: the convenience with little ones. My youngest was around 2 when I offloaded the last car. But at that time I lived within walking distance of the Novena MRT so it was easy. I worked in IP so the car would just sit in the carport for the whole week until the weekends.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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