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Critical Spectator’s post ignites public condemnation of LTA’s SimplyGo decision

Public discontent grows over LTA’s SimplyGo as Critical Spectator’s post comparing it to Tesla ignites backlash. Concerns include fare/balance visibility and a perceived lack of user-centric changes.

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SINGAPORE: In a Facebook post dated 13 January, the Polish Blogger known as Critical Spectator expressed concerns about the announcement made by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on 9 January.

The primary focus of the post was on the dissatisfaction among Singaporeans regarding SimplyGo, a system that fails to display user fare or balance when tapping in public transport.

Since the post was uploaded, it has generated significant engagement, amassing over 1,300 comments and more than 1,600 shares.

Critical Spectator remarked, “LTA’s SimplyGo is like a Tesla and needs fixing to prevent a bigger PR disaster.”

The discontent among Singaporeans is understandable as they anticipate the transition to SimplyGo, raising concerns about the new cards not showing fare or balance information at the gate.

While the Land Transport Authority defends the change, suggesting users can check this information through the mobile app or machines at MRT stations, critics argue that progress should enhance, not diminish, user experience.

The new system’s delay in showing information is seen as unacceptable, especially in Singapore’s tech-savvy environment in 2023.

Drawing a comparison to Tesla, it highlights the importance of new technologies not compromising essential user expectations.

While the SimplyGo app offers modern features, it has removed a crucial aspect that users found convenient.

If the Land Transport Authority doesn’t find a good solution, the current public anger might calm down, but the damage to their reputation could last.

Netizens echo concerns over LTA’s decision, citing lack of user-centric approach

Many netizens engaged with Critical Spectator’s Facebook post, expressing agreement with the points raised.

A common sentiment among commenters was the belief that those responsible for the decision may not be regular public transport users, leading to a lack of understanding of the users’ needs.

Netizens pointed out that this decision exposed a failure on the part of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to consider the diverse spectrum of users, implementing changes based on assumptions rather than actual user needs.

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Several netizens took the opportunity to thank Critical Spectator for addressing the matter and emphasized the potential challenges faced by the elderly due to the new system.

One netizen highlighted a perception that higher-ups implementing new initiatives in Singapore might dismiss initial complaints, expecting eventual compliance after a brief period of discontent.

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Another netizen emphasized the principle that changes should be for the better, expressing agreement with the sentiment that the recent changes seemed like a step backward.

The importance of considering the impact on those who are not technologically savvy was underscored, acknowledging the potential significant effects of seemingly small alterations.

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A user brought attention to the fact that the existing pre-SimplyGo EZ-Link cards can be centrally managed on the old but secure and decentralized technology of the EZ-Link app.

They noted that this older technology actually offers more advanced features compared to the new SimplyGo system, which operates with a backend-only approach.

The user suggested that the primary advantage of SimplyGo may lie in cost efficiency, simplifying terminals and shifting the workload to the backend.

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User advocates flexibility in SimplyGo amid comparison with Tesla and EVs

One user highlighted a comment made by Critical Spectator, drawing a comparison between SimplyGo and electric vehicles (EVs) like Tesla.

The user expressed agreement with the view that the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) decision regarding SimplyGo could be seen as a questionable move.

However, he noted that the comparison with Tesla and EVs might not be a strong argument.

According to him, associating the complaints with a resistance to change was more apt.

He emphasized that the mindset change and adaptation to new habits were essential, and those opposing SimplyGo might be unwilling to embrace these changes.

In the user’s perspective, the argument should center on the understanding that there is no universally “right way” to handle things.

The key, he asserted, was developing the discipline to manage card balances and expenses, acknowledging the advantages and drawbacks of each approach.

The user advocated for SimplyGo to offer flexibility, allowing users to choose their preferred method, drawing a parallel with Tesla’s approach.

A commonality observed between SimplyGo and Tesla’s use of screens was their impact on customization and streamlining processes.

However, he emphasized that these decisions were made to the advantage of the providers, not necessarily the customers.

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When it hits the LTA’s (Government) pocket, the authorities expect the vendor to create a system at the cheapest cost. Vendors are not stupid, when you pay them peanuts, you get monkeys.
And now LTA wants Singaporeans to accept and strongly believe we will soon forget about our woes.

Hmmmm…when one links this SimplyGo saga with the arrest of that iguana, who was the transport minister at that time.

and about the Ezlink app… it’s review scores are just as bad on Googleplay. from my XP, it’s slow buggy and can’t even work with concession cards.

lol. he still dare talk about Tesla? gahmen wants to kill all diesel/petrol vehicles,for more expensive EVs like Tesla, when diesel cars are already as expensive as a house in USA. bad meme comparison.

Is Simplygo another project by govtech? With project lead by a “protected species” like those at SMRT that the SMRT CEO couldn’t get rid off and apparently was the root cause of its problems? Because its shortcomings is SO GLARINGLY OBVIOUS that only people with vested interests can not see it and continue to try justifying its existence. It would appear the bar for entry into tech jobs is SO LOW these days that complete incompetents can get in. With so many lame brains, it is becoming obvious WHY those tasked with protecting us from scams working at the telcos… Read more »

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