In the government’s bid to eliminate cash payments in public transport systems by 2020, cash top-up services at passenger service centres (PSCs) in train stations will be completely phased out starting next month. This will be the authorities’ first step to wean public commuters off cash payments when using public transport in Singapore.
With the old cash top-up services out of the picture, cash-paying commuters will learn how to utilize self-help ticketing machines in the absence of PSC service staff to top up stored value cards such as the EZ link cards for them.
Cash Top-Up Services at MRT to be Phased Out by March
Since September of last year, 89 stations have already stopped offering cash top-up services, while 24 stations including Aljunied, Bugis, Orchard, Raffles, and Somerset will shortly cease providing this service on Feb 21. The remaining 25 stations on the MRT network which include Eunos, Chinatown, Jalan Besar, and Tampines are all set to follow suit starting March 21.
According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA) subsidiary and service provider, TransitLink, a pool of 150 service agents are prepared to be sent for and to assist commuters in using the ticketing machines at the affected stations for up to two months. There will be at least one service agent available at each station from 8am ‘til 8 pm daily, and more staff will be deployed during peak hours.
While the progressive shift to cashless commute is already taking place, the authorities assure the public that cash payments for top up travel cards via convenience stores and TransitLink ticket offices can still be availed.
The government envisions that all ticketing devices at MRT stations will only allow top-ups via e-payment options such as NETS or credit and debit cards by 2020. Furthermore, buses will have the same kind of payment system employed by train stations as well.