After checking through Grab and taxi fares from the airport, it’s certain that the fares aren’t going to be reasonable for the morning peak hours from the airport to the city. And with GrabHitch probably not going to work on short notice during the morning peak hours, I opted for the next best alternative – the WTS Travel Changi Airport City Shuttle bus.
The City Shuttle is Singapore’s answer to a shared “Airport Express” shuttle bus which gets people from the airport to downtown hotels every 15 minutes during the day. At S$9 per adult or S$6 per child, this is probably the most cost-effective way to get directly to the doorstep in the city for solo travellers.
With all the automation at Terminal 4, the Ground Transport Concierge at the Arrival Hall has now also magically turned into a kiosk.
Clicking for a hotel near to my workplace.
The next Changi Airport City Shuttle bus departure from Terminal 4 was in 11 minutes. Lots of cashless payment methods are accepted, however, the cash option seems to be no longer available. Not at all ideal for tourists coming into Singapore with only cash in hand and who may not have activated their cards for overseas usage.
*The 10% surcharge for credit card payment as labelled on the kiosk only applies for limousines upon payment to the driver and not the City Shuttle.
Getting my ticket and receipt printed out from the Ground Transport Concierge kiosk.
My ticket and receipt for the City Shuttle bus from Changi Airport Terminal 4 to Royal Plaza on Scotts.
There is a waiting area for the City Shuttle bus and Limousines just after the kiosk.
Once a booking from the kiosk has been made, the information screen also updates on the upcoming arrivals for current bookings.
At 8.19am, the Changi Airport City Shuttle bus arrives to pick me up from Terminal 4, with passengers from Terminals 1, 2, and 3 already on board.
The view from my seat on the City Shuttle bus.
USB charging ports are available by the window at each window seat.
WiFi is also available, but it requires registration to login. Oh well, not that I need it now that I’m back in Singapore.
Heading straight on out to the city from Terminal 4 as it is the last airport stop.
Taking the ECP into the city.
The Singapore skyline from the City Shuttle bus.
Getting off the ECP at Rochor Road exit.
Yup, another reason not to take a taxi or Grab into the city during the morning peak.
There’s 2 ways to avoid the morning tolls in Singapore, the first is to claim kidnap if it’s because you’re Chinese, and the most logical choice from the airport is to get on the flat fare Changi Airport City Shuttle bus.
Dropping off a passenger at Hotel Royal @ Queens.
Dropping off another passenger at Rendezvous Hotel.
The exact combination of stops differs for every shuttle as the City Shuttle bus drops off passengers according to each individual booking.
Heading on to Orchard.
Luggage racks are available by the door of the City Shuttle bus.
The 2+1 interior of the City Shuttle bus, seating 12 passengers in total.
The single seats are wider than the pairs. The bus was probably originally fitted with 9 such single seats, but the 5 on the right side of the bus has been removed and is now replaced by the 4 rows of pair seats and the luggage rack.
Getting dropped off at Royal Plaza on Scotts about an hour after departure from Terminal 4.
Overall, the Changi Airport City Shuttle bus is a convenient way to get to the city for solo travellers who has baggage for easy access to downtown hotels. However, the travel time may be dependent on luck, depending on whether you get dropped off first if you are nearer to the expressways, or if you are travelling deep into the city, last, like me, which would make the journey time unfortunately similar to or even slower than public transport.
The City Shuttle bus may make sense if you are departing from Terminal 4 since it’s the definite last airport stop getting you on the way to the city immediately upon departure, but if you are coming from Terminal 3 or Terminal 2, I’d rather you get the MRT into the city during operational hours.