Jan 22, 2024: The U-turn
On Monday, the plan to phase out the current ticketing system was shelved.
“LTA will be extending the existing adult card-based ticketing (CBT) system, to operate in parallel with the SimplyGo system,” said the agency.
“The extension will continue to give adult commuters the option of using the EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay cards or their SimplyGo-compatible cards on public transport.”
It added that commuters who have purchased or converted their cards to SimplyGo EZ-Link cards between Jan 9 and Jan 22, can exchange them for a CBT EZ-Link card for free if they wish to do so.
The same goes for concession cardholders with a SimplyGo-compatible card. This includes seniors, students, Workfare Transport Concession cardholders, and people with disabilities.
Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat, who announced the move on Monday, acknowledged in a Facebook post the concerns of commuters who want to continue seeing their fare deductions and card balances at fare gates and bus card readers.
“I have discussed your feedback and concerns with the Transport Ministry and LTA,” said Mr Chee. “We have decided to extend the use of the current CBT system for adult commuters, and not to sunset the system in 2024 as originally planned.”
“We will spend an additional S$40 million (US$29.8 million), so that commuters can continue to use EZ Link cards and NETS FlashPay cards if they wish to.”
Mr Chee also apologised for the delays in the card upgrade to SimplyGo.
“I apologise on behalf of MOT and LTA for the delays commuters experienced when they tried to convert their existing EZ Link cards,” he said. “This could have been avoided with better preparation.”
He added that he has tasked LTA to study ways to enhance the features and improve the user experience for account-based ticketing cards.