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The NETS FlashPay Card won't be SimplyGo-ing after all: LTA walks back card upgrade

By Cheryl Tan - on 22 Jan 2024, 6:19pm

The NETS FlashPay Card won't be SimplyGo-ing after all: LTA walks back card upgrade

No more forced upgrading. Source: ST / Gavin Foo.

To all the people who have been vocal about their displeasure over LTA's decision to stop accepting legacy stored value cards from June onwards, you've driven your point home (to LTA, rather).

LTA has issued a press release today (22 January 2024) announcing that the existing adult card-based ticketing (CBT) system will no longer be removed. It will instead operate in tandem with the SimplyGo system. Check the link to see what you need to do if you're upgraded as soon as the first (and now outdated) announcement was made.

In light of this announcement, NETS has also announced it will continue sales and support for the NETS FlashPay Card, business as usual.

Both NETS FlashPay Cards and NETS Prepaid Cards will be accepted. Source: NETS.

The FlashPay Card allows commuters to see fare information and card balances on card readers at MRT and LRT fare gates and on buses, as with most world-class public transport systems. Commuters who purchased new NETS Prepaid Cards between 9 January and 22 January 2024 (because of the LTA announcement) will be able to exchange their cards to a NETS FlashPay Card if so desired.

Sales of the NETS FlashPay Card will be resumed at SimplyGo Ticket Offices, convenience stores, NETS Customer Service Centre and the company's Lazada and Shopee online channels.

If you've already bought new SimplyGo EZ-Link cards or changed your old EZ-Link card to a SimplyGo one, fret not. 

LTA will be rolling out a (second) card exchange program for commuters to change these new SimplyGo cards to a CBT EZ-Link card free of charge. Concession cardholders who switched before this announcement will also be able to exchange their cards to a CBT Concession card free of charge. 

These card exchange programs aren't immediate, however, with LTA only promising more details by End February. 

The switch to the new system may be delayed until further notice. Minister Chee Hong Tat, in a Facebook post, mentioned that the decision was to "extend the use of the current CBT system", with an additional $40 million being spent so that the existing EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay cards can continue being used.

"Account-based ticketing (ABT) cards like SimplyGo and bank cards (e.g. credit and debit cards) have their benefits. If a commuter misplaces his registered ABT stored value card, the balance can be protected because the value is stored in the user’s account... ...However, because ABT cards do not store fares and card balance data in the card itself, it would take a few seconds to retrieve the information from the backend system to display at the fare gates and bus card readers.  This would slow down the flow of commuters and cause long queues, especially during peak hours.  Unfortunately, there is currently no technical solution to this," said the Facebook post uploaded by Minister Chee Hong Tat."

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