SINGAPORE: Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat stated on Monday ( Feb 5 ) that the government must spend S$ 40 million ( US$ 30 million ) to expand the system supporting adult EZ-Link cards because it operates independently of the concession card system.
The method for grownup EZ- Link cards was expected to reach the end of its administrative life this year, while the concession card system could still be in operation. To keep the system operational until at least 2030, the Land Transport Authority ( LTA ) will need the funds to purchase “new hardware and equipment.”
Mr. Chee was responding to more than 20 parliamentary inquiries regarding the Ministry of Transport’s ( MOT ) decision to put SimplyGo on hold and the associated costs.
Child EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay card users were required to switch to the SimplyGo system by June, the LTA first announced on January 9. Some people griped about being unable to view card balances and suffer conclusions. For some consumers, the switching process also came with technical challenges.
LTA announced on January 22 that it would invest S$ 40 million to permit riders to keep using the previous ticketing system. According to Mr. Chee, between January 23 and January 31, about 9, 000 riders converted their cards to the SimplyGo system. As of the end of January, roughly 70 % of mature riders use SimplyGo.
According to Mr. Chee, LTA currently operates three systems: SimplyGo, a ticketing system based on accounts, one card-based ( CBT ) system for adult EZ-Link cards and NETS FlashPay cards, and one CBT system, which is used for concession cards. The two card-based systems were created at various points in time.
Senior commuters responded that they were unfamiliar with the SimplyGo software and preferred to keep seeing their suffer deductions and card balances when LTA consulted various groups to determine their readiness to change to the app.
According to Mr. Chee,” Based on this comments, LTA decided not to move concession card holders to SimplyGo and preferably keep the concession CBT system for these commuters.”  ,
Since roughly two-thirds of this class were using SimplyGo by December of last year, the LTA decided that the CBT program for adult travellers may be phased out. However, the news from last quarter was met with vehement opposition.
In light of the earlier decision to sunset the CBT program for adult commuters, we thus decided not to proceed, according to Mr. Chee.” Commuters who , prefer to have the opportunity of using NETS FlashPay cards or EZ-Link cards to pay for public transportation can still do so,” he said.
He emphasized once more that public transportation fares wo n’t be impacted by the price of expanding the ticketing system.
He added,” We’ll even figure out how to gradually integrate the two CBT systems without affecting travellers and, whenever possible, lower overall fees.”
Mr. Chee continued by saying that he had asked LTA to enhance SimplyGo’s features and customer experience as well as find a solution to the complex issue that now prevents commuters from seeing fare deductions and card balances when they exit an MRT station or bus.  ,
No CBT system decision must be made at this time after 2030, according to him.
” In making the decision , immediately, important factors would include whether we can get around the ABT system’s limits, current technical limitations,” and which program riders prefer to use.