In the midst of discussing the switch from EZ-link to SimplyGo with my parents, their confusion about the complexities and reasoning behind it became apparent. However, Singapore’s plan to fully embrace SimplyGo for adult public transport fares has hit a speed bump.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has decided to postpone the original June 1 deadline, allocating S$40 million to extend the use of EZ-link cards and Nets FlashPay cards for adult commuters.
Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat assured the public that this delay is a response to concerns raised by commuters. Just under two weeks after the announcement that non-upgraded Nets FlashPay and EZ-link adult cards would be ineligible for public transport payments from June 1, the LTA made a U-turn, considering the inconvenience faced by commuters.
The most significant concern was the disruption faced by commuters during the upgrade process. Many were displeased about losing the ability to view their stored-value card balance and fare deduction at fare gates and bus card-readers.
The LTA’s initial announcement had created uncertainty about the duration of this transition, leaving commuters in limbo. However, the recent decision to postpone the full adoption of SimplyGo doesn’t come with a specified time frame.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by commuters, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat issued an apology for the delays experienced during the conversion of existing EZ-link cards. He admitted that better preparation could have avoided these inconveniences.
In an effort to address these issues, LTA has taken steps to improve the SimplyGo app and expedite the card conversion process. Furthermore, for commuters who recently purchased or converted their old EZ-link cards to SimplyGo, the LTA is offering an exchange for their original card at no cost.
As the authorities work to smooth out the wrinkles in the transition process, commuters hope that a more seamless shift to SimplyGo will happen in the future.