SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced changes to payment methods on public buses and trains on Tuesday (9 Jan)
Starting 1 June 2024, older EZ-Link cards without the SimplyGo logo and Nets FlashPay cards will no longer be accepted.
Commuters are urged to switch to SimplyGo EZ-Link cards, contactless bank cards, or mobile wallet-linked payment cards, excluding concession card users.
Concession cards, used by seniors and students, are unaffected by this change.
After 1 June, older EZ-Link cards will only be valid for motoring-related payments, while Nets FlashPay cards will continue to function for both motoring and retail payments.
LTA’s decision aligns with the increasing popularity of the SimplyGo system, which constitutes two-thirds of adult fare transactions, offering benefits such as fare history viewing, mobile top-ups, and enhanced security features.
To facilitate the transition, commuters can exchange Nets FlashPay cards for free Nets Prepaid Cards at SimplyGo Ticket Offices from 19 January to 18 July.
Refunds for old cards are available at local bank ATMs or the customer service center within a year of the card’s expiry.
The deadline for exchanging older EZ-Link cards without the SimplyGo logo is 31 August 2024.
Service ambassadors will be stationed at various locations from March onwards, assisting commuters with the transition and the use of the SimplyGo app.
Refunds for remaining card values can be processed at SimplyGo ticket offices and service centers.
Users frustrated with upgrade issues, compliance shortfalls, and inconveniences
However, not everyone is pleased with this decision.
Numerous Facebook users have also expressed their discontent with the alterations via the various posts from the media.
A user from a comment thread on the Straits Times shared frustrations about the troublesome process of upgrading the card, requiring multiple attempts before successfully converting.
Additionally, she noted that the SimplyGo app experiences lag issues.
Another user highlighted a significant compliance shortfall in SimplyGo, pointing out its inability to provide transaction details to commuters upon boarding buses or the MRT.
This forces commuters to make payments blindly, with the only option to review details later through their apps, which is deemed inherently unfair.
Expressing a sense of resignation, the user remarked, “We find ourselves without an alternative but to accept what is being offered.”
Many netizens expressed their unhappiness, particularly with the absence of balance information when tapping their SimplyGo cards on public transport.
This lack of visibility leaves them unaware of the deducted balance.
Another user complained about the delay in top-up transactions, noting that it takes a day or two for the credited amount to reflect.
Consequently, his card was rendered unusable until the top-up value was updated.
In contrast, one user advocated for Nets FlashPay, asserting that it still meets all the necessary criteria.
The user questioned the rationale behind removing this card for public transport and expressed confusion over the decision.
Lastly, another user emphasized the importance of avoiding inconveniences in implementing changes.
They cautioned against implementing changes solely for the sake of an “upgrade,” emphasizing that the current system appears to be worse off, resulting in more of a downgrade.
Petition urging LTA to reconsider decision
On the same day as the LTA announcement, an individual by the name of Justin Tan initiated a petition urging the LTA to reconsider.
However, as of today (11 Jan), only 98 signatures have been collected.
Justin highlights concerns about the reliance on SimplyGo, pointing out that it requires an internet connection to function as a mobile app.
“This meant that you need to constantly check your balance to see if it is sufficient, which is a contrast to Nets FlashPay which is using the older system where you can see your balance when you tap in and out,” write Justin.
He further explains the inconvenience for users without auto top-up features, as they must manually check balances when exiting MRT stations, potentially causing delays at faregates.
For bus-dependent users, accessing top-up machines may be challenging, and if the SimplyGo system is down, they may need to pay cash or perform a digital top-up on the spot.
In his petition, he made a plea to LTA not to eliminate Nets FlashPay as a payment option for transportation.
Singapore to amend GST Act after Govt agencies’ errors in fee charges
Leong Mun Wai advocates for public asset disclosure among key office holders
Hazel Poa: Majority relying on Govt grants for living costs signals unhealthy situation
Man set himself on fire at Israeli Embassy in Washington protesting Gaza genocide
A calculated exit? Leong’s strategic resignation unpacked
M’sian ex-lawyer speaks out for Singaporean parents over MOE’s controversial CCE lesson
S’porean streamer Kiaraakitty admits staging egg attack in Taiwan
Netizens scrutinise MOE’s approaches to address Gaza conflict in CCE lesson
Chan Chun Sing limits his Instagram comments amid MOE’s Israel-Hamas education backlash
Chan Chun Sing: MOE’s Israel-Hamas education to foster multiracial cohesion reflection
HK-born Singaporean businessman designated Politically Significant Person under FICA
Prabowo-Gibran coalition begins cabinet planning with involvement of Jokowi
Politics4 days ago
Leong Mun Wai steps down as PSP Secretary-General over POFMA directive received
Featured2 weeks ago
PA surveys community & govt confidence amid pending general election
Singapore3 days ago
Gilbert Goh challenges MOE on Israel-Hamas classroom narrative
Comments2 weeks ago
PAP Marcus Loh accuses WP’s MP of alleged dishonesty on debate about reserves
Civil Society2 weeks ago
Singaporeans stand firm in support for Palestine amidst police scrutiny
Singapore1 week ago
Kenneth Jeyaretnam issued 6th POFMA direction over Ridout Road saga
Civil Society2 weeks ago
At least 9 individuals summoned by police over Palestine solidarity activities on 2 Feb
Community2 weeks ago
Connectivity struggles in Tengah town prompt online user discussion