MRT Passenger Service Centres (PSC) has been the choice of value top-up for many people in Singapore. The announcement of it shutting down its top-up service island-wide has many scratching their head.
Why do TransitLink want to shutdown such a widely used service?
The shutdown of the value top-up service for the passenger service centre was a indirect result from the National Rally Speech by PM Lee.
In the pursuit of the smart nation initiative, to becoming a cashless society, Singapore has to adapt and evolve. With it comes changes, and closure of this service just happens to be one of them, a big one.
With an average daily ridership of 3.1million, there were certainly a significant number of people still using the passenger service for top-up of credit. To curb this entire crowd off the cash top-up system, will mean a major step towards a cashless society.
To date, 89 stations have already discontinued this service, and on 21 February 2018, another 24 stations will follow suite, they include Orchard, Somerset, Raffles Place, Aljunied, Bugis and many others.
A TransitLink spokesmen said in an interview that they had hired more than 150 service agents, who will be stationed at the automatic top-up machines for up to two months at the affected stations, to aid with usage of ticketing machine.
TransitLink also mention that there will be at least one service agent at each affected station, from 8am to 8pm daily, more will be deployed during peak hours.
By 2020, all ticketing machines at train stations will only accept electronic top-up methods. Buses will also stop accepting cash payments as well.
Cash, can however still be used to top-up travel cards at the convenience stores, but with a levy of 50-cents per transaction. TransitLink Ticket Offices, which are located at the major bus interchanges, will still accept cash top-ups as per normal until further notices.
This is a good step towards a cashless society, but been done too haphazardly can leave behind certain segments who finds difficulty handling machines.
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