Until the MRT came about, commuters paid cash fares to bus conductors when boarding a bus. This changed in 1987 when a fully automated fare collection system was implemented to handle the large volume of train passengers daily.
An integrated ticketing system was implemented in 1990 to provide a common fare payment system on both rail and bus services, which by then, had a total daily ridership of 2.6 million. The magnetic ticket, called the “farecard”, became the first major stored-value facility to be introduced in Singapore. Transit Link Pte Ltd ( TransitLink) was set up to collect and disburse fares received from passengers.
To enhance Singapore’s transport ticketing system, LTA introduced contactless smart cards as the new ticket medium. Following pilot tests in 2000 and 2001, LTA rolled out the Enhanced Integrated Fare System, using contactless smart cards known as ez-link cards, to replace in the magnetic cards. This was a significant milestone in the evolution of e-payments in public transport.
With the launch of the new ez-link card system, Transitlink was appointed to manage the sale, revaluation, replacement and refund of ez-link cards.
TransitLink, which was incorporated in Novemeber 1987, later became a subsidiary of LTA in April 2010.
Ang Siew Tee, who has been with SMRT since 1992, was part of the group that tested the new ez-link system before it was implemented nation-wide. This picture was taken in City Hall MRT station. It was during the trial period when farecards were going to be replaced by ez-link cards. MRT staff were amongst the first to try out the new system.
For more videos like this, check out our YouTube page.