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Singapore commuters defend use of old payment system amid LTA’s SimplyGo U-turn

In response to the SimplyGo saga, online responses reveals many advocating for the retention of the old system, citing its flawless functionality. Some users appreciate the LTA’s responsiveness to feedback but seek clarity on the S$40 million expenditure.

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SINGAPORE: Internet users are defending the continuous use of older payment system in light of the recent decision by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to shelve the original plan of transitioning to SimplyGo and substitute older public transport payment cards.

Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat addressed the issue on Monday (22 January), apologizing on behalf of the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and LTA for the delays commuters experienced when attempting to covert their existing EZ-Link cards.

He acknowledged that this could have been avoided with better preparation.

As of now, holders of older EZ-Link cards not on SimplyGo, an account-based ticketing platform, will no longer be required to update their cards by 1 June for public transport payments.

Nets FlashPay cards will also continue to be accepted for adult fare payments, with no need to exchange them for a Nets Prepaid card by 1 June.

Additionally, Minister Chee announced an additional investment of S$40 million (approximately US$29.8 million), but did not elaborate on what it will be spent on, to enable commuters to continue using EZ-Link and Nets FlashPay cards.

Online responses to LTA’s recent decision to shelve original plan of transitioning to SimplyGo

In response to the LTA’s announcement, The Straits Times posted an infographic detailing the cards that can be used to pay for public transport on Monday (22 January).

Non-upgraded EZ-link cards and Nets FlashPay can be used for public transport, retail and motoring. Meanwhile, the SimplyGo EZ-link card, Nets Prepaid card and Contactless bank card can only be used on Public transport and retail.

Judging by the abundance of comments, a considerable number of users expressed their opinions on the matter, with a majority advocating for the retention of the old payment system.

Some argued that the older EZ-link system functions flawlessly and doesn’t necessitate an upgrade.

“Please don’t change anything just for the sake of change and call it an upgrade which is just an absolute downgrade,” one user wrote.

Another user who shares the same sentiment remarked, “The non-upgraded elink card with 3 green ticks is the winner.”

“That’s correct. One card serves all, and can see card balance when tap out,” one user stated, satisfied with LTA’s decision to shelves their original plan.

Public concerns over LTA’s decision and fiscal responsibility

Nevertheless, within the comments, some individuals criticize the previous decision, stressing that the LTA should not have made a unilateral decision and expected commuters to blindly follow like sheep.

“LTA must be prudent in how they use our taxpayers’ money and not squander it on half-baked ideas that suit themselves and not commuters,” the user wrote.

In response, another individual concurred, emphasizing the importance of conducting thorough surveys and investigations before making assumptions.

They highlighted that relying solely on the self-interpretation of statistics, as the LTA did when assuming SimplyGo’s popularity based on usage rates, may not be sufficient.

“A good system is one which considers the interests of all its stakeholders, not just a selected group. Let this be a lesson learnt not just for LTA but for all government services!” the user added.

In a prior press release explaining the decision to phase out older cards, LTA cited the growing adoption of SimplyGo payment methods.

“With the growing adoption of SimplyGo payment methods, and the legacy card-based ticketing system for adult commuters nearing the end of its operational lifespan, we are therefore transitioning all adult commuters to the SimplyGo platform by 1 June 2024,” said LTA on 16 January.

Nevertheless, the initiative to bring about change and heed feedback was acknowledged by certain users, with some expressing satisfaction that the LTA is responsive to feedback.

One user expressed gratitude, stating, “Thank you for considering our feedback and making the appropriate decision.”

Another user expressed approval, noting the commendable practice of incorporating feedback for the users’ benefit.

They emphasized the importance of avoiding changes solely for the sake of change, as it could lead to unnecessary chaos.

However, despite LTA’s prompt efforts to address concerns, some users still seek additional clarity concerning the S$40 million expenditure.

“I hope more details will be disclosed or raised as questions in Parliament by our MPs,” the user remarked.

According to the data provided by Chee in his Facebook post on Tuesday, at least 36% of commuters still use the card-based ticketing (CBT) system.

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Compared to Lily Neo asking for a few more cents to help the poor to live better AND NOT TO EAT at Restaurants which the PAP Administration DEVIL SACRCASTICALLY questioned – how is it this Minister is KEEPING QUIET when this $40,000,000.00 is INFINITELY billion times more.

Government agencies have been spending lavishly on things unnecessary so as to award some businesses with fat revenue and profits. Who are benefitting from it we have to know when Opposition take charge.

For their very grave mistake on forced implementation of SimplyGo, they now point fingers at us for an extra $40m expenditure to keep a working and fully functional payment system whereas what they wanted to force on us is a half pass six system that is beneficial to them only, not the commuters.

Minister Chee should not drag his feet on the following 6 points although points 2,3 and 4 are related: 1) give a breakdown on how the $40 mil will be spent 2) does this mean the card based ticket system (CBT) will be retained permanently or is there a due date once the $40 mil is exhausted? 3) will SimplyGo continue (unmodified) parallel to the CBT permanently? 4) Or is there a plan to ultimately stop the CBT and allow only SimplyGo with the necessary upgrades? 5) is there a usage fee imposed by CBT and SimplyGo to fund their… Read more »

The ONE MAJOR CHANGE citizens should protest is F O this PAP Administration for GOOD.

When the lead is SCREWED UP, based on their INFAMOUS NO BLAME CULTURE dictatorship RIDING ROUGH on citizen WHEN NOT OWNING up to mistakes AFTER committing Disasters One after ANOTHER, this SHOULD be FULLY STOPPED.

How can citizens BE PAWNED in All their FAILED experiments, ONE SHOULD ASK rightfully. Do these Millionaire Scums respect and value people’s lives whom EACH DAY every citizen STRUGGLED to live.

A spectacular and monumental disaster of epic proportions, … in every sense of the word, be it, … progress, upgrade or pap knows best !!!

That aside, it’s the “thought” that, all of that monies expensed to “sync” the system, to promote and propagate it, all of the ambassadors and flyers and stickers, and now, … another 40 smackeroos !!!

To appreciate being SillyPorean, … it’s best to save that “thought” for another day, another occasion and another shit show !!!

A “sorry” that cost taxpayers SGD 40,000,000.00
The world’s most expensive “sorry” !!!

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