SINGAPORE: A social media firestorm has erupted after LTA announced that EZ Link cards would no longer work as of June, thus forcing thousands of Singaporeans to switch to SimplyGo.

As reported by several sources, two-thirds of commuters have switched to SimplyGo since December 2023. However, the remaining commuters, who were comfortable with the previous system but were ‘forced’ to switch, have been very vocal about their opposition to SimplyGo. Their main point of argument is that it didn’t display the balance details and fare upon tapping the reader.

Why Singaporeans are unhappy

Unhappy with the changes made to their bus and train payment cards, many citizens took to the Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) official TikTok account to air their grievances and express their disapproval of the new system.

Although they could still check their balances through the app, they lost the “convenience” of seeing the charges in real-time as they left the public transit.

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In addition, this could also spell trouble for those who tend to forget to check their balance on the app since they might board a bus without any remaining balance.

Why LTA made the changes

According to a statement released by the LTA on Jan 12 via Channels News Asia, it was technically feasible to display the fare details as it previously did. But because it would take a few seconds, commuters’ entry and exit would be slowed down, making this “undesirable.”

Commuters have also been advised to check their balances via one of three methods: downloading the SimplyGo app, visiting and logging into their website, or using the ticketing machine.

“SimplyGo users who prefer not to use the app can also view their trip details and card balance at ticketing machines located at every train station and bus interchange,” the LTA stated.

“We’re from LTA, so of course…”

On Tuesday (Jan 16), the LTA released their own version of “We’re… so of course…” TikTok video trend. In the video, two young individuals from LTA put their own spin on the trend and disclosed six quirky and interesting facts about the employees of LTA.

@ltasg

Get to know us better 👋🏼 #weare #FacesOfLTA

♬ original sound – Land Transport Authority – Land Transport Authority

The video has since been viewed 90.1k times and has received more than 1k likes.

Netizens poke fun at LTA’s TikTok

Upon viewing LTA’s TikTok video, a number of citizens wrote their own version of the trend in the comments section, primarily criticizing the SimplyGo system.

“We are from LTA, of course we don’t want to let you know how much we charge for every trip using SimplyGo,” one netizen said.

“We are from LTA, of course we think of more creative ways to make money of sgreans. ERP 2.0, COE, SimplyGo, Road tax, carbon tax, EV tax,” another commented.

“We are from LTA. Of course need to make life difficult traveller by introducing SimplyGo,” another chimed in.

Meanwhile, others took this opportunity to raise their concerns as well.

One netizen implored the LTA to “improve the flatness and smoothness of roads as there are currently so many bumps, graduations, protruding manholes, and patches here and there.”

Others also questioned why citizens couldn’t freely purchase cars.