The authority also said it conducted market testing and focus group sessions with adult commuters and concession cardholders before the SimplyGo transition plan was finalised.
It added that account-based ticketing (ABT) cards were issued to more than 1,000 concession cardholders in 2021 for them to test and report back based on their experience.
“Generally, groups such as persons with disabilities, polytechnic and university students, and NSFs (national servicemen) were supportive of ABT and did not mind the lack of fare and balance display,” said LTA.
“Parents of students also found ABT useful as it allowed them to top up their child’s card remotely.”
The authority noted that the group which had the most concerns were seniors who were worried about the absence of the fare and balance display at station gates and bus readers because of the way SimplyGo public transport transactions are processed.
“This guided LTA’s decision to extend the CBT system for concession cards from the get-go so that concession cardholders, such as seniors, are not impacted by this round of changes,” it said.
LTA told CNA previously that while it was “technically possible” for commuters using SimplyGo EZ-Link cards to view their fare information at station gates and bus readers, it would “slow down the entry and exit for commuters”.
The inability of commuters who use SimplyGo to view their fare information at station gates and bus readers had emerged as one of the main sticking points since LTA’s initial announcement of the switch on Jan 9. This led to public outcry over the decision, with some commuters facing difficulty upgrading their cards.
LTA said on Monday the decision to make the switch was “only decided” when it was assessed that two in three adult fare transactions were made on SimplyGo via bank cards and stored value cards, and noted the feedback received.
“We hear and acknowledge the concerns of commuters who want to continue seeing their fare deductions and card balances at fare gates and bus card readers,” it added.
“We are extending the adult CBT system so that they can continue to have this feature and use their EZ-Link and NETS Flashpay cards.”