MRT rules in Singapore

Bringing in durians or smoking on the train are some of the rules most of us are probably aware of and are hopefully not breaking. But Singapore, being the fine city that we are, actually has numerous other rules that some of us may not even have heard of. Here are 10 lesser-known MRT rules to know so you aren’t found guilty of breaking them.

1. Bringing super-big luggages on board – $500 fine

Saving on delivery fees for your new 50” TV or refusing to cab to the airport is a good idea, but make sure your items are within the specified dimensions when you board the MRT. If kena reported, there’s a chance you might face a fine of $500. 

MRT Rules - Luggage max size

Big pieces of luggage don’t only refer to the ones we use for travelling; they can refer to almost anything that you’ve brought with you onto the MRT that exceeds the dimensions of 90cm x 60cm x 30cm. 

MRT Rules - Foldable bike
Image credit: @pacificcarryme 

For those carrying foldable bikes, they have to be within 120cm x 70cm x 40cm when folded and have to remain folded throughout your train ride. Then again, if you notice the aunties and uncles giving you death stares, you know you’re taking up too much space in the cabin.

2. Exchanging of parcels in MRT stations – $2,000 fine

MRT Rules - Carousell package exchange

A lot of us are unknowingly guilty of doing our Carousell transactions at MRT stations. It’s the preferred meet-up point for convenience, especially so sellers can just pass it over the gantry without tapping out. The authorities have caught on to this and have imposed a fine of $2,000.

It was quite rampant back in 2016, to the point that there were even signs put up to warn the public. However, many of us still do it today, most likely without realising it. While fines aren’t being handed out left-right-centre, you might want to stay on the safe side and meet your Carousell seller outside the MRT station instead.

3. Entering the train when it’s full  – $500 fine

MRT Rules - Crowded cabin
Image credit:

Your boss may not believe you if you tell them this was the reason you were late for work, but getting in a cabin that’s too full is a fineable offence. As to who’s responsible for determining if it’s too full, that would be the staff on the platform who will let you know that you should take the next one. They’re also the ones who stop people from rushing in when the doors are closing.

Now that you are aware of this rule, don’t force your way inside when you very well know there’s no space left on the train – guilty ones, you know who you are. Save yourself a $500 fine and take the next train or taxi whenever you need to rush to an early morning meeting. 

4. Being drunk – $500 fine

Drunk on the train
Image for illustrative purposes only.

A night out partying can rack up quite the bill – $20+ for a ride-share and $100++ for the booze and entry to the club. So, we don’t blame you budget conscious folks who prefer to pregame with a few cans of affordable beer under $10 before taking the train out.

While we applaud you for the effort, doing this might end up costing you $500 instead. That’s right, that’s the fine you have to pay if you’re caught drunk in an MRT station, especially if you’re on the verge of being mabok or disturbing fellow commuters.

5. Drinking anything, including plain water – Up to $500 fine

Drinking water

We’re definitely familiar with the no eating or drinking rule in the MRT – there’s a constant fear of getting caught for sipping on your bubble tea. But drinking water can also be considered as breaking this rule.

We can already hear you swearing under your breath, “Walao water also cannot ah?” But then, don’t complain when you sit on a wet seat or slip on spilt water when you’re rushing to cop an empty seat. This is exactly what SMRT wants to avoid so that commuters have a pleasant and comfortable journey.

Btw. If you’re ever suay enough to be caught, you can try appealing for the potential $500 fine to be waived. But best to stay on the safe side and avoid drinking anything on the train.

6. Staying within the station for more than 2 hours – $500 fine

Max waiting time in station

In every friend group, there’s always that one culprit who die-die cannot be punctual. And we know the dread of having to wait for them at a common MRT stop before heading to meet the rest. The good news is, you now have an excuse to just go ahead to your destination first because staying in an MRT station for over 2 hours is a fineable offence.   

Not many people may know this, but if you tap out after 2 hours, your EZ-link card will have an error and you’ll have to explain why you were inside for that long to the staff. Not a conversation most of us are keen on having unless you’re looking for a listening ear to complain about that one friend who’s always late. Plus, it could be seen as loitering which also has a fine of $500.

7. Sitting on the escalator – $500 fine

MRT Rules - Escalator

No matter how long of a day you’ve had, you can get fined for sitting on the escalator or travellators in the MRT stations. This also includes the handrails, which some of us have been guilty of doing in our childhood. 

Running in the opposite direction of the escalator also counts btw. So, if you’ve realised you’ve taken the wrong escalator, don’t be paiseh and try to u-turn up or down the escalator. Save yourself a potential $500 fine by just riding it all the way and taking the other escalator to go back down.

8. Keeping lost property found on the railway premises – $500 fine

Finding lost items
No, you can’t bring home this rice cooker if you find it.
Image credit: @Volvagia356

Honesty goes a long way when it comes to finding lost items at MRT stations. Those caught even attempting to keep an item they found for themselves will be fined $500. The best course of action is to report the item to the authorities or staff nearby and let them handle the rest. Don’t bet on it but who knows, the owner of the item might just give you a reward.

9. Distributing books or flyers without a licence – $1,000 fine

handing out flyers
Image credit: The Little Black Book

To the budding entrepreneurs, giving out samples of your products or distributing flyers at MRT stations could be a great marketing strategy. But you’ll have to get permission from SMRT or a licence before you do or you might get fined $1,000. 

Most of us have sheepishly tried to avoid eye contact with persistent flyer distributors, but don’t anyhow report them out of annoyance just because you know about this law now.

10. Entering the driver’s cabin – $500 fine

MRT Rules - Driver's cabin
Image credit:

No matter how full the train is, the driver’s cabin will still be out of bounds for unauthorised folks – AKA you and me. This isn’t one of those times where you should let your curiosity get the better of you; even touching the wrong button in the cabin could lead to you being the reason for another train breakdown. Plus, you’ll be slapped with a $500 fine just for entering.

Singapore’s lesser-known MRT rules

Now that you know about these more obscure MRT rules, don’t act blur if you get caught drinking water or hanging around the MRT station for too long. Save yourself the trouble and the fine, no matter the inconvenience.

For other lesser-known things about public transport in Singapore, check out:

Cover image adapted from: @freddjohns

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