Plans afoot to make SimplyGo universal card, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Plans afoot to make SimplyGo universal card

There are plans to make the SimplyGo account-based ticketing system work for motoring payments down the road, on top of its current uses for public transport and retail, said Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat.

“Over time, we do want to work towards having the SimplyGo card being able to be used for retail, public transport and also for motoring,” Mr Chee told Parliament on Feb 5.

This will put SimplyGo stored-value cards on a par with older ez-link cards, which can be used across public transport, motoring and retail.

But it will take time to find such solutions, Mr Chee said in a debate on the issue that lasted about 40 minutes.

This is one reason the card-based ticketing system for adult transport cards needs to be extended by six years past its shelf life until at least 2030 in a $40 million move, the minister added.

In the meantime, Mr Chee said, he has asked the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to add more card readers at MRT stations and bus interchanges to allow SimplyGo users to check their card balances if they do not use the SimplyGo mobile app.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) did not provide more details about this move when contacted.

Unlike the older card-based system, which stores transaction data on the cards, SimplyGo handles fare payments on back-end servers.

That is why fares and balances are not shown on card readers when tapping in or out, an issue the authorities are hoping to resolve.

LTA had announced on Jan 9 that all adult public transport users must make the switch to SimplyGo by June, but shelved the move barely two weeks later, on Jan 22.

Mr Chee also revealed on Feb 5 that a separate card-based ticketing system for concession cards would be extended until at least 2030 as well.

The authorities previously said they decided to retain this system after feedback from seniors but did not specify its shelf life or how long it would be retained.

Mr Chee said LTA will find ways to integrate the two card-based systems over time without affecting passengers.