From March 18, eligible SimplyGo users can collect cards that will show fares on card readers, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

From March 18, eligible SimplyGo users can collect cards that will show fares on card readers

From March 18 to June 30, adults who had converted their travel cards to the account-based ticketing system SimplyGo can get a new card that is compatible with the older card-based ticketing system from all 44 ticket offices islandwide.

This will allow them to see fare deductions and card balances on fare readers once again – a function unavailable with SimplyGo.

Adult passengers who updated their cards to SimplyGo or bought a SimplyGo ez-link card between Jan 9 and 22 are eligible for the new cards. They can continue using their SimplyGo-compatible cards even after collecting the new cards, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Feb 28.

The collection process will be staggered based on the last digit of a user’s SimplyGo ez-link card identification number, LTA added.

For instance, those with ez-link card identification numbers ending with the digit 1 or 2 will be scheduled to collect their cards between March 18 and 24, while those with numbers ending with 9 or 0 will be able to pick up the cards from April 15 to 28.

Those who bought a Nets Prepaid Card from Jan 9 to 22 can also collect a free Nets FlashPay card, which is compatible with the card-based system, at ticket offices from April 1 to June 30.

Concession card holders who are seniors, persons with disabilities or lower-wage workers, as well as adult monthly travel card holders, will be mailed replacement cards between April 1 and May 31. To qualify, they must have been issued SimplyGo cards or converted their travel cards to the account-based system on Jan 22 or earlier.

LTA’s statement on Feb 28 came more than a month after the authorities shelved plans, announced on Jan 9, to have all adult passengers update their existing travel cards to SimplyGo. Nets FlashPay cards were also to be replaced with SimplyGo-compatible Nets Prepaid Cards.

The authorities walked back the move barely two weeks later on Jan 22, after some passengers expressed unhappiness that they could not see fare transaction data immediately when tapping out of buses and MRT stations.

The Government will spend an estimated $40 million to keep the card-based system going until at least 2030.

From Jan 9 to 22, nearly 140,000 adult commuters and concession card users had switched to SimplyGo, LTA had said previously.

It told The Straits Times on Feb 28 that about 290,000 adult users, including those who bought SimplyGo or Nets Prepaid Cards, will qualify for the new cards.

The staggered collection for the cards will ensure shorter waits for passengers, said LTA, which gave the assurance that there are enough replacement cards.

It urged eligible commuters to keep to their allotted collection dates.

Passengers must bring their existing SimplyGo card for verification. Those who cannot pick up their cards on the assigned dates can visit the ticket offices from April 29 to June 30.

To aid the collection process, the operating hours of all 44 ticket offices at MRT stations and bus interchanges will be extended from March 18 to May 26.

They will start operating from 8am. Some offices, such as those at Jurong East MRT station and Tampines Bus Interchange, will close at 8pm.

Others, including the ones at City Hall and Raffles Place MRT stations, will open till 9pm. The ticket office at Yishun MRT station will be the only one operating until 10pm during that period.

Passengers who wish to check their eligibility for the cards can visit or call the SimplyGo hotline on 1800-2255-663.

During peak hours, staff at the ticket offices will focus on issuing new cards to speed up the process.

“Commuters who need assistance with other services, such as card top-ups, will be assisted by service ambassadors to do so at ticketing machines,” LTA said, encouraging commuters to go to ticket offices during off-peak hours for a shorter wait.

As the addresses of eligible concession card holders are registered with LTA subsidiary TransitLink, the cards - numbering 67,000 - will be mailed to them, said LTA.

This will make it easier for concession card holders to get a new card, it said, adding that they, too, can continue using their SimplyGo cards if they prefer.

Those who decide to use the new cards must activate them at any ticket office, to ensure that each eligible cardholder has just one valid concession card.

They must bring along their National Registration Identity Card, as well as their existing and new concession cards. Staff at the ticket offices will help to transfer any value in their existing card to the new card.

LTA added that eligible Nets Prepaid Card holders may also request refunds of their balance via the Nets app.

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