From 1 June this year, commuters can’t use non-SimplyGo EZ-Link cards or NETS Flashpay cards for public transport fare payment. Commuters are required to make a switch or upgrade their existing cards to SimplyGo. However, problems with the system makes the move questionable.
Fare and balance not displayed
The biggest complaint with SimplyGo is that commuters cannot see the transport fare and their account balance on the fare reader when tapping in. Users will have to download the app to view and track their fare expenditure. Transactions are also not real-time. For this reason, some commuters are still using their non-SimplyGo EZ-Link cards so they can monitor their expenditure and balance. However when the old EZ-Link cards are phased out, tracking transport fare and spending will become more difficult.
To make matters worse, users who do not enable auto-topup will see a message indicating insufficient balance and be denied entry. The app also does not notify users when their balance is low.
The SimplyGo system is not mature and buggy. Several commuters were overcharged as SimplyGo did not detect entry/exit properly and deducted fares incorrectly.
Just today, users cannot even see their card on the app and some are unable to login as well.
Inconvenient for seniors
For the less IT-savvy among us such as the elderly and those who do not own smartphones, their travel experience will be handicapped as they cannot easily check fares and balance. What will be done for this group of people? Will they be left behind? Have these been considered before the plan to replace the old EZ-Link with SimplyGo?
The transition to SimplyGo has not been well-explained and is causing a lot of apprehension among the public. People do not understand why we are moving to what looks like a more inferior system. Are we doing digital transformation just for the sake of it so someone can hit their KPI? Are we taking one step forward and three steps back?