In Singapore, bus services fares are calculated based on total distance traveled in kilometres.
The current fare model was introduced in July 2010. Distance-based through fares (DBTF) charges commuters a fare computed based on the cumulative distance traveled in a single trip, so long as all transfers are made in accordance with certain transfer guidelines. Fare revisions are conduced annually.
There are two modes of fare payment on buses: Contactless Card and Cash. Certain commuter groups are issued with concession cards that entitle them to discounted concessionary fares, In addition, travel passes can be purchased that allow unlimited use of buses throughout their validity period.
Under the Bus Contracting Model, all fare revenue is collected by the Government, more specifically the Land Transport Authority (LTA), which then pays bus operators a fixed sum of money regularly to offset its operating expenditures.
Current Distance-based fares for Buses are based on the most recent fare revision, with effect from since 30 December 2016. View the most recent fares at our Public Transport Fare Adjustment 2016 article.
There are two types of Distance-based fares: Basic Fares and Express fares, which apply to most bus services in Singapore. The remaining minority of bus services charge Flat Fares which will be discussed separately.
The Basics of Fare Payment
Two categories of fare payment are highlighted in the table: Basic and Express fares. Non air-conditioned bus fares have been phased out since the full retirement of such buses.
|Basic Fares||Express Fares||Flat Fares|
|Trunk, Feeder / Townlink / Intratown services||Express, Fast-Forward, City Direct services||Premium, Chinatown Direct, Nite Owl, NightRider|
Different commuter groups pay fares in accordance with different fare bands. Children under the age of 7 holding a Child Concession Card travel free on all Basic and Express bus services. Students, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities and Persons under the Workfare Transport Concession Scheme enjoy concessionary (discounted) fares on all Basic and Express bus services.
Paying Your Fare
There are 2 main methods of fare payment onboard buses.
- Card Fare Payment
Contactless fare payment using an EZ-Link Card or any CEPAS-compliant card.
- Cash Fare Payment
No change will be provided
Card Fare Payment
Upon boarding the bus, tap your Contactless ePurse Application (CEPAS)-compliant card on the EZ-Link reader. The fare from the boarding stop to the last stop of the route is automatically deducted. If the card balance is insufficient, a “Please Pay Cash” error message will be shown with 5 continuous beeps.
When alighting, tap your card at the exit reader and the fare difference between your alighting stop and the last stop will be refunded to you.
Cash Fare Payment
For cash payment, it is advised to check the distance that you are travelling, and prepare the correct amount corresponding to the distance band, which can be found in the fare table at every bus stop.
Upon boarding the bus, drop your fare into the coinbox beside the Bus Captain and state your fare for easier reference (Both coins and notes are accepted). You may be asked for your intended destination or to tap your concession card (if you are paying concessionary fares) by the Bus Captain for verification on correct fare payment. Do remember to take your bus ticket from the ticket dispenser and retain them as random checks by an appointed Bus Inspector may be conducted. The fine for fare evasion or under payment of fares will be $50, regardless of distance travelled.
A detailed explanation on the fare structure can be found here.
Readers Unavailable – Please Pay Cash
In the event that the EZ-Link readers are faulty and unable to accept payments for the bus fare, the following discounted cash fares for all passengers apply.
Do note that this is the official standard operating procedure for faulty readers, where all commuters must pay cash. Most bus captains will allow free rides so as not to cause inconvenience to commuters.
|Type / Category||Adult||Senior Citizen||Student||Workfare Transport Concession||Persons With Disabilities|
Calculate Your Bus Fare
Use the official bus fare calculator here
Distance Fare Rules
With a Contactless ePurse Application (CEPAS)-compliant stored value card, commuters are charged a fare based on their total journey distance (whether on the bus or train), without additional costs incurred when transferring betwen different modes of transport.
The guidelines are:
- Use a CEPAS-compliant or NETS Flashpay stored value card
- Make up to 5 transfers within a single journey, with a 45-minute allowance between each transfer
- Make the last tap-in of your journey within 2 hours of the first tap-in
- Enter the train network only once in a journey
- Current bus service must not be of the same number as the preceding bus service
Travel & Concession Passes
Monthly Travel/Concession Passes offer unlimited rides for within their one-month validity period. Tourists using the Singapore Tourist Pass also enjoy unlimited rides within their validity period.