Oh how we have progressed. From ticket stubs to flimsy bus cards to the tap-and-go efficiency of the EZ-Link card, it does seem like we’re moving towards a hands-free system when it comes to paying our bus and train fares. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has called for a Request For Information (RFI) exercise to seek the wider opinion on truly hands-free payment systems: Walk In Walk Out or a Be In Be Out System (bad names, we know).
The Walk In Walk Out system will allow the presence of the commuter to be detected at the entry and exit of the bus, and Be In Be Out system will track the presence of the commuter throughout the bus to determine the fare that he or she has to pay. Both ways no longer require you to dig out that pesky EZ-Link card. The information gathered from the RFI will be used to develop a proof-of-concept trial by the end of the year.
This trial comes almost after the more recent trial LTA launched to test run the smartband encoded with a digital CEPAS card to pay for transport fares. The handsfree system will work in a way that your fares will be paid via “contactless media, mobile smart phone or similar device to track commuters’ movement through the rail and bus transit system”. Fare evaders will be detected by the gentry barriers in train stations that will switch from a “normally open state” to a closed barrier if an intrusion happens. These alerts will be sent to the drivers if the same occurs in a bus setting.
Either way, it will be quite the move forward for Singapore. As cashless payment has just started to hit it off with the people, this might just take a little longer for people to get used to. While the change will no doubt make the payment system even more seamless and efficient, there are still a lot of questions that will be asked. How will payment be determined? Will there be glitches that might occur from interferences?
Still, wouldn’t it be cool to not carry anything around when you’re out and about? Well played, Singapore.