How I Saved $770 On Transportation in NS

Public Transport… I think as Singaporeans most of us take public transport to commute to school, work or our NS camp! It’s easy and it’s cheap. But what if I told you that I would be saving about $770 during NS by making the right decisions? Interested? Read further!


Before we can do any calculation, we gotta know where and how we are reaching our destination. For privacy reasons, I won’t say where I live and where my camp is. But using Google Maps, I found out I have 2 ways to reach my camp. They are:

Bus Only MRT & Bus
Any Transfer? Transfer to another bus halfway Transfer from MRT to bus
Duration No traffic (before 0900) – 45 mins
Traffic (after 0900) – 1 to 1.25 hours
Different Options of Journey

As you can see from the table, it would probably make sense that I take MRT & Bus since I won’t ever be affected by traffic. But the thing is, my reporting time is about 0930. This means that I will have to start my journey latest 0845. This means the traffic doesn’t really affect me. So we are on equal level now.

Frequency per Month

Frequency is the number of times I have to go to camp. I checked my shift roster, the average number of times per month is 16. We will use this to calculate the cost per month in the subsequent part.

Fare Calculator

So now that we know how we are gonna get to our destination, we can use the LTA Fare Calculator to calculate how much it will cost us if we use our Ez-Link Card normally. As an NSF, we are charged according to the adult fare.

Bus Only

Going to camp by bus

Going home by bus

If I were to take Bus Only, this is how much it will cost me per month:

Total per month for Bus Only

MRT & Bus

Going to camp by MRT & Bus

Going home by MRT & Bus

If I were to take MRT & Bus, this is how much it will cost me per month:

Total per month for Bus Only

NSF Concession Card

Every NSF would have received 2 things when they enlisted, our 11B and NSF Concession Card. Believe or not, the Concession Card is more powerful than the 11B because it can save you more money!! You are given the opportunity to buy either Bus or MRT concession or both. Take a look at the table below to see how much it costs.


Now we have 4 options.

  1. Take Bus only using normal fares
  2. Take Bus only using concession
  3. Take MRT & Bus using normal fares
  4. Take MRT & Bus using concession

Now that we know all the numbers, I have created a table to compare the costs. I will be comparing over 22 months, as that is the duration that I will be serving NS.

Transport Mode Cost per Month Cost for 22 months Total Savings
Bus Concession $55.50 $1221
Bus Only $56.32 $1239.04 $18.04
MRT & Bus $60.32 $1327.04 $106.04
MRT & Bus Concession $90.50 $1991 $770
Comparison of the costs

As you can see, if I hadn’t made this comparison and went with the worst decision of buying the MRT & Bus Concession, I would have spent an extra $770!!!

Closing Words

My situation and your situation can be completely different. It could be that you live quite far away from your camp that buying the MRT & Bus Concession would save you more. The point is that we all are in different situations. What you can do though is that make a comparison and take a decision based on it. It might save you some money throughout your NS Journey!

Additional Comments

This does not only apply to NSF. It can apply to students as well as adults.