Retain ticketing machines for cash top-ups

Eliminating cash transactions at self-service ticketing machines at MRT stations and bus interchanges is not the way to go (Fully cashless public transport by 2020; Aug 12).

A large proportion of commuters (34 per cent) continue to opt for cash top-ups at the ticketing machines (Some need help to adapt to cashless system, say observers; Aug 12).

While many of these people may be comfortable switching to cashless alternatives in the future, we must be sensitive to the needs of those for whom such a move may be more challenging, for instance, foreign workers and senior citizens.

Many school-going children also may not own credit or debit cards, and prefer to use cash for their top-ups.

It was reported that limited cash top-ups would still be available in places like convenience stores. However, such stores may not be located within the MRT station or bus interchange.

Retaining cash ticketing machines at these locations will better facilitate passenger commutes, as opposed to having passengers go to a convenience store.

Cash transactions performed at self-service ticketing machines are no less beneficial than cashless alternatives, and I am sure that retaining such modes of payment will be welcomed by commuters young and old.

I urge the Land Transport Authority and TransitLink to reassess the matter with care. After all, what is a Smart Nation if not one that works to serve the needs of its people?

Rachel Lau Hui En (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 15, 2017, with the headline 'Retain ticketing machines for cash top-ups'. Print Edition | Subscribe