Official Map: Singapore MRT
Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system only opened in 1987, but has expanded greatly since then and now boasts 90 stations and almost 150 kilometres of lines. It is supplemented by the LRT, which is not a true light rail system, but is more like an automated people mover that serves the high density apartment blocks prevalent in land-poor Singapore. In earlier versions of the map, I believe that the stylised “S” logo in the background formed a rough analogy to the shape of the island of Singapore itself - with the addition of new lines, this doesn’t hold as true as before (with much of the North East Line now extending well into the “ocean”), but it’s still a distinctive graphic device to tie the map together.
Have we been there? No.
What we like: Spacious, clean, elegant layout. Distinctive sans serif typeface gives a unique look to the map - for once, Helvetica is nowhere to be seen.
What we don’t like: I’m not sure why the alphanumeric codes for each of the stations has to be included on the map (something to do with ticketing? Can anyone from Singapore enlighten me on this?), but they do end up adding a lot of visual clutter to an otherwise clean map, especially when a station has multiple codes. The two LRT loops in the north east of the map are too close to each other, making type from one run into the other. It looks like it could have been possible to space them a bit further apart by extending the main North East Line just a little further out.
Our rating: A confident, distinctive map that boasts its own look. While obviously bearing a London Underground map influence, it has moved beyond its inspiration to create something new and fresh. Four stars.
(Source: Official SMRT website)