Fares and ticketing on the Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)

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Because the rail operators are government-assisted profit-based corporations, fares and ticketing on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system are currently aimed at least in breaking-even to at least compensate for their costs of running the system. The rail operators collect fares by selling electronic tickets capable of storing data, the price of which are calculated based on the distance between the start and destination stations. These prices increase in fixed stages for standard non-concessionary travel. From the information that was earlier written in these tickets, it is possible to increase the fare according to increments based on approximate distances between stations.

Stations on the MRT system are divided into two areas, paid and unpaid areas which allow the rail operators to collect needed fares by restricting entry only through the fare gates, also as access control gates. These gates, connected to a computer network, are capable to the electronic tickets, and can store information such as the amount of time taken per trip, and the start and destination stations per trip. This will thus allow the rail operators to collect fares based on this information.

The General Ticketing Machines (GTMs) at each station allow commuters to purchase value additions for their tickets or purchase tickets for single trips. Tickets for single trips, coloured in green, are valid only on the day of purchase, and have a time allowance of 30 minutes above the estimated travelling time between the destination and starting stations. Tickets that could be used repeatedly until its expiry date required a minimum amount of money in order to purchase both a new ticket or additional value.

It is possible for passengers to extend a trip mid-journey, and pay the difference as they exit their destination station. Using distance-based prices stands in contrast to utilising fare zones in some other subway systems such as the London Underground.

Although operated by private companies, the system's fare structure is regulated by the Public Transport Council, with the operators submitting requests for fare revision for approval. Fares are kept affordable by approximately pegging them to distance-related bus fares, thus encouraging commuters to utilise the network and move away from past heavy reliance on the bus system. Recent fare increases in the past few years have raised the ire of the public.[1] There were also similar expressions of disapproval over the slightly higher fares charged on SBS Transit's lines, a disparity which SBS Transit justified by citing higher operational and maintenance costs, and lower ridership.

Fares[edit]

EZ-Link/NETS FlashPay card adult fares[edit]

North South Line and East West Line

  • 0 km – >32 km: S$0.77 – S$2.03

North East Line and Circle Line

  • 0 km – 40.2 km: S$0.79 – S$2.27

EZ-Link card senior citizen fares[edit]

North South Line, East West Line

  • S$0.57 - S$0.90

North East Line and Circle Line

  • S$0.61 - S$0.90

EZ-Link card child and student fares[edit]

All lines 0 km – >7.2 km: S$0.38 - S$0.60

Standard ticket fares[edit]

North South Line, East West Line

  • 0 km – >32 km: S$1.00 – S$2.10

North East Line and Circle Line

  • 0 km – 30 km: S$1.10 – S$2.30

Note[edit]

  • Free travel for children 0.9m and below, from 6 April 2014 with child concession cards.
  • Free travel (before 7.45am) and S$0.50 early travel rebate (7.45am - 8am) apply when a passenger taps the EZ-Link card in a fare gate at the station outside the city area and taps out at the MRT Station inside the city area. The following stations do have their early travel rebates:
    • East West Line: Lavender, Bugis, City Hall, Raffles Place, Tanjong Pagar, Outram Park
    • North South Line: Orchard, Somerset, Dhoby Ghaut, City Hall, Raffles Place, Marina Bay
    • North East Line: Outram Park, Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Dhoby Ghaut
    • Circle Line: Dhoby Ghaut, Bras Basah, Esplanade, Promenade, Bayfront, Marina Bay
    • Downtown Line: Bugis, Promenade, Bayfront, Downtown, Telok Ayer, Chinatown

Ticketing[edit]

Main articles: EZ-Link, NETS, and CEPAS

Tickets[edit]

Contactless smart cards replaced their magnetic ticket predecessors completely on 1 December 2002, making Singapore one of the first cities to implement contactless smart card payment on all the main modes of public transportation, along the likes of Hong Kong.

The ticketing system uses the EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay contactless smart cards based upon the Symphony for e-Payment (SeP) system for public transit built on the Singapore Standard for Contactless ePurse Application (CEPAS) system. This system allows for up to 4 card issuers in the market.[1] The EZ-Link card was introduced on 13 April 2002 as a replacement to the original TransitLink farecard while its competitor the NETS FlashPay card entered the smart card market on 9 October 2009.

Stored Value Card[edit]

An adult EZ-Link card may be purchased for S$12 (inclusive of a S$5 non-refundable card cost and a S$7 credit) for payment of public transportation fares in Singapore. The card may be purchased at any TransitLink Ticket Office or Passenger Service Centre. The card may also be used for payment of goods and services at merchants displaying the "EZ-Link" logo, Electronic Road Pricing tolls and Electronic Parking System carparks.[1][2] Additional credit may be purchased at any General Ticketing Machine (GTM), Add Value Machine (AVM), TransitLink Ticket Office, Passenger Service Centre, AXS Station, DBS/POSB Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), online via a card reader purchased separately or selected merchants. Additional credit of a predetermined value may also be automatically purchased whenever the card value is low via an automatic recharge service provided by Interbank GIRO or through a manual application at the TransitLink Ticket Office or credit card online. An option for EZ-Link Season Pass for unlimited travel on buses and trains is available for purchase and is non-transferable.

The NETS FlashPay card may be purchased at all TransitLink Ticket Offices at MRT stations, retail points such as 7-Eleven stores, Cheers and Fairprice Xpress as well as iNETS Kiosks. It can be used for the payment of public transportation fares in Singapore and at merchants displaying the "NETS FlashPay" logo.

Standard Ticket[edit]

First generation Standard Ticket[edit]

A Standard Ticket contactless smart card for single trips may also be purchased between S$2 and S$4 (inclusive of a S$1 refundable card deposit)for the payment of MRT and LRT fares. The card may be only purchased at the GTM. The deposit may also be retrieved by returning the card to the GTM within 30 days from the date of issue or donated to charity by depositing it in a collection box at any station. This card cannot be recharged with additional credit.

Second generation Standard Ticket[edit]

A paper-based Standard Ticket contactless smart card for single/return trips may be purchased between S$1.10 and S$7 (inclusive of a S$0.10 refundable card deposit) for the payment of MRT and LRT fares. The card may only be purchased at the GTM. Unlike the first generation Standard Ticket, this second generation Standard Ticket can be recharged with additional credit for up to 6 trips within 30 days from the date of issue. The deposit will be refunded upon recharging the card for the third trip at the GTM. A further S$0.10 rebate will be given upon recharging the card for the sixth and final trip at the GTM. Credit purchased for the single/return trips must be used on the same day of purchase. For commuters who purchased credit for the return trip, but did not return to the original station on the 'return trip', they can top up the fare difference at the destination station if the purchased credit is less than value of the trip.

Singapore Tourist Pass[edit]

Alternatively for tourists, a Singapore Tourist Pass contactless smart card may be purchased from S$18 (inclusive of a S$10 refundable card deposit and a 1-day pass) for the payment of public transportation fares. The card may be purchased at selected TransitLink Ticket Offices and Singapore Visitors Centres. The deposit may be retrieved by returning the card to selected TransitLink Ticket Offices and Singapore Visitors Centres within 5 days from the date of issue.[3]

Access Control Gates[edit]

Access control gates found in Singapore's MRT and LRT stations have evolved in design & features over the years. 4 different series of gates have been used in the MRT stations, and also different faregates have been used in LRT stations. All series of these gates are still working side by side in the MRT system, although the 2 oldest generations of these gates in the MRT stations have their faregates beginning to be removed starting from March 2010 and is expected to be completed by October 2014.

First generation gates[edit]

The first generation faregates are made by SMRT. It originally accepted the now defunct magnetic farecard, and was upgraded to accept contactless smartcards in 2002. The VFG fare information display was slanted at an angle for some units. Some of the faregates are in the older text; while some had been upgraded to the newer text.

It was originally located at all stations, however it is already phased out. Some of them originally had their older text which is those between 1987 and 1990.

Second generation gates[edit]

The second generation faregates are made by ST Electronics. It originally accepted the now defunct magnetic farecard, and was upgraded to accept contactless smartcards in 2002. The VFD fare information display slanted at an angle for all units; and had LED front entry/exit only display.

It is already been phased out.

Third generation gates[edit]

A row of Thales Gates at Dhoby Ghaut.

These are the standard sized gates you would normally see at every station. Each gate features Sony and CEPAS contactless smart card readers and 2 central retractable flaps. They are also ergonomically designed & made of stainless steel. Furthermore, they also feature a 6.5 inch LCD/TFT monitor which is used to display information about the ticket used by the passenger passing through the gate, as well as LED displays which show the operating status of the gate (whether it is for entry or exit).

It is located at all NEL stations, Sengkang LRT, Punggol East LRT, and CCL stations, the production orders have been ended in 2011.

Turnstile faregates[edit]

Turnstile faregates are for Bukit Panjang LRT, which originally accepted magnetic farecards. It was upgraded to accept stored value cards in 2002. It will be replaced by TITAN in 2016.

TITAN generation gates[edit]

The fourth generation "Titan" gates will eventually replace the first and second generation gates that have been in use for over 20 years. These new gates will be 10% more energy efficient with low energy LED displays, LCD displays and servo-motors. The faregates are much smaller and wider compared to the two types of old gates. They will also be able to differentiate between human and inanimate objects, as there is no more green arrow and red cross signs, all of which replaced by illuminated bars. Red pin-holed sensors are removed, replaced by black plastic. It also makes low-buzzing sounds when there is error.

Currently, all stations that are not within Thales (third and fourth) faregates have their faregates installed, including Nibong, Sumang and Soo Teck.

Fourth generation gates[edit]

The fourth generation "Thales" faregates is meant for the Downtown Line stations. It is a swing faregate control that does not have sharp substance and is glass. It is also blue in colour.

First generation wide gates[edit]

  • For Expo MRT Station, it originally accepts the magnetic farecards until it was removed by May 2003.
  • Accepts only contactless smart cards for all faregates
  • LED front entry/exit only display
  • Fare information Liquid Crystal Display
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Applies to all the EWL and NSL stations that are built before 2002.

Second generation wide gates[edit]

Each gate features contactless smart card readers capable of reading type A, B and FeliCa cards and 2 central retractable flaps. They are also ergonomically designed & made of stainless steel. Furthermore, they also feature a 6.5 inch LCD/TFT monitor which is used to display information about the ticket used by the passenger passing through the gate, as well as LED displays which show the operating status of the gate (whether it is for entry or exit). These gates were designed for passengers with bulky luggage, prams, in wheelchairs or those who are disabled to use. These gates are much wider than the standard ones & feature 2 double retractable flaps. There will always be at least 1 in every station. For Changi Airport, because it serves airport passengers who are likely to carry bulky hand luggage, all gates at this station are of the wide gate variety. Since the opening of Changi Airport, all faregates originally had a metal hole for the magnetic farecard until it was removed by May 2003.

It applies to all stations that are built after 2002.

TITAN generation wide gates[edit]

All stations that are built after 2012 into the existing lines have the same features as TITAN, except with their premium-sized version for wheelchairs. Orchard and Jurong East stations have fitted with second generation wide gates.

Third generation wide gates[edit]

The third generation wide gates is by Thales and it applies for the Downtown Line stations only.

Cronos Faregates[edit]

Designed with wide aisle gates, they promote independent access and passage for wheelchair-bound customers, the elderly, children and travellers with luggage. It is modern and uniquely contoured top cover design and intuitive lane guides provide enhanced visibility.

Located at all Bukit Panjang LRT stations.

Ticketing Machines[edit]

In the early years, single trip magnetic tickets were purchased at Ticket Vending Machines with coins only. Notes could be broken up into small change at a separate change machine. Those holding magnetic multi trip farecards could only reload their cards with additional credit at manual service counters or a separate Add Value Machine.

Today, the multi functional General Ticketing Machines have replaced their predecessors above for all of the passenger's ticketing needs. Through a touch screen monitor & a touch sensitive system map, these new generation of machines allow the passenger to reload the stored value in their EZ-Link Cards in cash (notes), through NETS & apply for automatic reload service through GIRO or VISA. Passengers can also purchase a Standard Ticket in cash (coins & notes), get a refund on their Standard Ticket deposit, check the value remaining in their EZ-Link Cards & view their past card transactions. 2 variations of the General Ticketing Machines are in use, differing only slightly in design as they are manufactured by different companies.

Change Machine (1987–1990s)[edit]

Notes are inserted and small change provided for use at the Ticket Vending Machine.

Add Value Machine (1990s–2013)[edit]

  • Originally accepts magnetic farecards
  • Accepts reload of card credit via NETS only
  • Upgraded to accept contactless smart cards and LED displays

Add Value Machine Plus (AVM+) (2013–current)[edit]

  • Express claims and refunds
  • Emailing of travel transactions
  • Instant redemption of transport voucher

General Ticketing Machines[edit]

Ticket Vending Machine (1987–2002)[edit]

  • Push button to select fare
  • Accepts coins only

Integrated Ticketing Machines (1999–2002)[edit]

For Bukit Panjang LRT only.

Touch Screen Ticket Vending Machine (Late 1990s–2002)[edit]

  • Touch screen to select fare
  • Accepts coins only

General Ticketing Machines by Ascom (2002–2013)[edit]

General Ticketing Machines by Ascom (2002–current).
  • Passenger selects destination station on a touch sensitive rail map and fare is automatically calculated
  • For all EWL/NSL and CCL stations
  • EZ-Link/NETS FLashPay card is placed on an external reader to be read

General Ticketing Machines by Cubic (2003–2013)[edit]

General Ticketing Machines by Cubic (2003–current).
  • Passenger selects destination station on a touch sensitive rail map and fare is automatically calculated
  • For all NEL stations
  • EZ-Link/NETS FlashPay card is placed on an external reader to be read

General Ticketing Machines (2013-current)[edit]

  • Passenger selects destination station on a navigational rail map and fare is automatically calculated
  • For all stations
  • EZ-Link/NETS FlashPay card is placed on an external reader to be read

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Maria Almenoar (9 January 2009). "Free replacement exercise on till Sept 30". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2009-07-20. [dead link]
  2. ^ Imelda Saad (26 August 2008). "New e-payment system and next generation card for public transport". Channel NewsAsia. 
  3. ^ "Why Singapore Tourist Pass". Singapore Tourist Pass. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 

External links[edit]