Monday, December 22, 2008

The new CEPAS-compliant ez-link card

I read a letter in TodayOnline about the new CEPAS-compliant ez-link card by LTA. The author claimed that the new card would require him to make more top-ups. I scratched my head..

In the old system, there is a S$3 deposit and when stored value (excluding the deposit) is less than S$0, one cannot board a MRT train or bus.

In the new system, there won't be any deposit, and when stored value is less than S$3, one cannot board a MRT train, while for buses, minimum stored value must be more than that required for the rest of the journey of the bus.

I really don't see this change can lead to more frequent top-ups necessary for anyone. ... why? The current top-up procedure ask how much one wants to top-up. Thus, regardless if there is deposit, or the amount of deposit, or the amount of minimum value (for MRT), there is no reason to do more top-ups. Unless, the author has been using a procedure that I have not come across where he was asked how much stored value he wants in the card, and he doesn't intend to change this amount when using the new card. However, I don't think there is such a procedure.

Even for those who mainly travel by bus, they may instead top up lesser, but by only 0.1 top-up lesser assuming that their minimum value is S$2 instead of 3 and each time they do S$10 top-up.

However, if the S$3 deposit on existing EZ-Link card will not be refunded, then yes. Similarly, it would still be just an additional 0.3 top up, using the above assumptions.

I believe there are many not so good or correct letters sent by many, but to be selected for publication is slightly more than the common excuse of human err. Instead of thinking that it was some mistakes by the editors, I suspect it was intentional to create some heated discussions. They are facing low volume of letters to Voices and needed to take articles without asking from blog. There is one from but I couldn't find the article in this inactive blog.

By the way, I pity the LTA and TransitLink being wrongly accused by many. From what I understand, it was the IDA initiative and directive to adopt the CEPAS standard that led to the change, while many unhappy comments were targetted at TransitLink and LTA.

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