This Map Of Singapore Shows How Accessible Our MRT Stations Are To Other Parts of The Country

Do you know da wae? This map claims to know all of da waes, plus how accessible different parts of Singapore.

But if you were betting on Orchard sweeping the title, we’re sorry: some estates lived up to expectations but the accessibility of others are shocking.

Before diving into more interesting finds from this map, let’s first learn how we arrived at these conclusions.

Isochrone what?

A certain Mr Yin Shanyang posted this map of Singapore on Medium in August last year.


This is an isochrone map, which is used in science and urban planning to show how long it takes to get between two points.

Looks confusing? Well, it doesn’t have to be.


Fret not. The map might look complicated but it you don’t need a a PhD in geography to read it.

Here’s how to read the map:

  • The white contour lines represent how far one can travel from the listed point (represented by the big white dot) by public transport within 15 minutes
  • The pastel green for travel in 30 minutes
  • The turquoise for travel in 45 minutes
  • The dark blue for travel in 60 minutes


And that’s it.


Isochrone maps can be used by:

The map caught the attention of Mr Justin Zhou on Facebook, who fed it with data to ‘quantitatively determine the most convenient places in Singapore’.

We consolidated results from Mr Zhou’s research into two tables: the best ranking and the worst ranking.


The best of the best

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
15 min Kallang Newton Kembangan Bugis Yishun
30 min Bishan Newton Toa Payoh Dhoby Ghaut Somerset
45 min Bishan Newton Yio Chu Kang Ang Mo Kio Braddell
60 min Bishan Newton Khatib Yio Chu Kang Ang Mo Kio

Bishan comes in as the most accessible MRT station, given that a 60 minute journey can successfully cover 53.3% of Singapore (or so the map claims).

The trend suggests that the central regions are the most convenient for long distances — just look at how well Toa Payohand Ang Mo Kio do.

What’s interesting is that Kallang MRT tops the ranks for short distances but it quickly falls out of the top 5 for longer journeys.

This might be a result of the urban planning of eastern Singapore, where one-way roads reign supreme.

Getting from Kallang MRT eastwards on road is easy enough, since you can just alight and take a bus from Sims Avenue, which runs one way.


But making the journey westwards is far harder — you’d have to walk along Geylang Lorong 1 and reach Geylang Road to board a bus to the west.


4 minutes might seem like an inconsequential length but it can alter these graphs significantly, considering that the data belts vary by 15 minutes at a time.

The worst of the worst

15 min Orchard Pioneer Boon Lay Paya Lebar Yew Tee
30 min Pioneer Sembawang Tanjong Pagar Simei Pasir Ris
45 min Pioneer Simei Sembawang Pasir Ris Admiralty
60 min Simei Pasir Ris Tampines Pioneer Tanah Merah

We’re really shocked that Orchard beat Tuas Link MRT to win the title of least accessible station within 15 minutes.

Tuas sounds so ulu compared to Orchard, no meh?

Maybe it’s the same issue with Kallang: the Orchard area is filled with one-way roads and roads without traffic crossings.

This may increase time spent on walking that could be used for actual commuting.

Simei performs consistently poorly in the rankings, and is the most inaccessible MRT station for long journeys: a 60-minute journey from the station can cover only 29.3% of Singapore.

And we also aren’t sure why Tanjong Pagar ranked so lowly, despite its one-stop proximity to Outram Park and Raffles Place interchanges.

Oh well, it’s just a ranking

Don’t be too concerned if your ideal BTO location came in last. And don’t be offended either if your hood didn’t do so well in the rankings.


After all, these accessibility scores don’t account for commutes by private transport or bike.

And we’re not too sure just how the data is computed: a weighted average of MRT and bus times? Are waiting times and frequencies taken into account?

MustShareNews has reached out to both Mr Zhou and Mr Yin for their responses.

Nonetheless, they’ve given us something to ponder, so thank you, guys!

Featured image from Isochronic.