No cash top-ups at 11 MRT kiosks
Passenger service centres (PSCs) at 11 train stations stopped accepting cash top-ups yesterday, marking the first step towards a cashless transport system by 2020.
Those who wish to top up their travel cards by cash can still do so at the general ticketing machines (GTMs), which also accept payment methods such as credit cards, Nets and mobile payment apps like Apple Pay.
Ticket offices, which also accept cash top-ups, are at the 11 affected train stations, which include Bedok, Hougang and Buona Vista.
Figures from Transit Link showed change in commuter habits after the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Aug 11 that cash payment options for public transport will be phased out over the next few years.
The average number of top-ups at the PSCs decreased by 37 per cent. In the same period, top-ups at the GTMs increased by about 32 per cent, while e-payment modes rose by 19 per cent.
The Straits Times reported last month that around 27 per cent of commuters use cash to top up their travel cards at PSCs.
To help commuters adapt to the changes, 150 service agents were deployed in the last two weeks to assist them. A quarter of these service agents are seniors, and the oldest is 73.
Service agent Veronica Sim, 70, said many elderly commuters were relieved they could still use cash to top up cards at the GTM.
She added: "They also find the machine quite simple to use. When I encourage them to use e-payment methods, about 20 per cent are willing to try it."
Madam Tu Yun Xia, 66, who used the GTM for the first time yesterday, said she found it easy to use.
She added in Mandarin: "I have a Nets card, but I am afraid that the machine will 'eat up' my card, so I will use cash for now. By 2020, I will probably have learnt how to use cashless methods."