Day passes can save money. I’ve saved plenty in San Francisco.
For transportation, travellers to Singapore can choose between a day pass, the EZ-Link (stored value card used by locals for transport and other small payments) or paying by cash.
Singapore’s day pass is called the Singapore Tourist Pass (which I will shorten to STPass).
When I first read about STPass, my gut feel told me the pass is not worth the money and that a regular EZLink is an even better value for a traveler.
Here is the cost of the pass:
1 Day Pass S$10
2 Day Pass S$16
3 Day Pass S$20
The official site also lists a comparison between the STPass and EZ-Link.
However, I’m not quite sure what this line means: “Hence passes issued in Singapore come with a rental deposit of S$10 which is fully refundable if the card is returned within 5 days from the date of issuance.”
Update: You’ll need to give an extra S$10 when you buy the card. You’ll forfeit the money if you decide to keep the card. (Too expensive!)
To see if my gut feel is right, I’ll do the math of travelling on an EZ-Link card for 3 days.
For accomodation, let’s pretend that we’re staying at Raffles Hotel which I cannot afford (but bear with me).
Raffles Hotel to Singapore Zoo $1.89
Singapore Zoo to Orchard MRT station $1.72
Orchard Road to Clarke Quay MRT $0.83
Clarke Quay back to Raffles Hotel $0.88
Total spent: $5.32 + (non-refundable $5)=$10.32
Raffles Hotel to Chinatown $0.88
Chinatown to Little India $0.88
Farrer Park to Raffles Hotel $0.83
Total spent: $2.59
Day 1 + Day 2 expenses= $7.91
+ (non-refundable $5) =$12.91
Raffles Hotel to HarbourFront $1.26
Monorail from HarbourFront into Sentosa
$3.00 [Micheal said the pass does not cover this charge.]
Sentosa back to HarbourFront (Free)
HarbourFront to Raffles Hotel $0.83
Total spent: $5.09 + $3 Monorail
Day 1 + Day 2 + Day 3 expenses= $16
+ (non-refundable $5) =$21
There’s a small flaw with my calculations though: Most of my transport cost involves taking the bus. I like taking buses but some travelers might shun buses because there are too many routes.
[Update (12/6/2012):] If we add the $3 for Sentosa Monorail, it gets a little more expensive.
Turns out, the STPass is quite a good value for travellers. This is due to the unrefundable $5 in the EZ-Link card. But you have to make sure that you will take enough public transport to cover your STPass.
I have to admit that the STPass does look a lot prettier than a regular EZ-Link. So if you are travelling to Singapore, maybe you can give it a try.
UPDATE: As Gurpal mentioned below, the card is only available at selected MRTs and at specific timings. Boo.
Have you bought the Singapore Tourist Pass before? How was your experience?