As Singapore Transits To SimplyGo, We Revisit Things That Have Simply Gone
ICYMI, the Land Transport Authority has announced that from 1 Jun 2024 onwards, older EZ-Link cards not on the SimplyGo platform and NETS FlashPay cards will no longer be able to be utilised for public transport fare payment.
Launched in 2019, the SimplyGo system allows you to check your fare history, top up your cards via mobile phone and block lost cards to prevent unauthorised transactions.
If you're using an older EZ-Link card, you can retain it by simply upgrading it at the SimplyGo system at any ticketing machine, SimplyGo Ticket Office or Ticketing Service Centre.
If you're using a NETS Flashpay card, exchange yours for a free NETS Prepaid Card at SimplyGo Ticket Offices or Ticketing Service Centres.
And if you're getting sentimental about saying goodbye to your good ol' EZ-Link card, let's ride that wave of nostalgia together with this list of other items that have been phased out over the years in the Lion City:
Plastic taxi signs
Nowadays, it’s easy to spot digital screens atop taxis letting you know if they’re available (“Taxi”) or busy (“Hired”). However, did you know that during the 70s and 80s, taxi drivers had to manually change their vehicle’s status using plastic signs?
IMAGE: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/@RICK HARRIS
8-track cassette tapes
Nowadays, we have music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube Premium. But during the 1960s-80s, that era saw the explosion of the 8-track tape (or cartridge), whereby music lovers would insert it into their old cars' stereo systems. Your streamed music may be in high quality, but it's quite impossible to replicate the alluring sound produced by this retro item.
Whole day and monthly parking coupons
Due to low usage, whole-day and monthly parking coupons were discontinued on 1 Jan 2022
To paraphrase Beyoncé, what runs the world? Apps. Today, drivers pay via the Parking.sg app, instead of slowly tearing tabs off parking coupons (ugh! The pain of tearing off the wrong one!) and displaying them on the dashboard, so they don't kena "saman" (fined).
FYI: some parking coupons, like those for hourly and night parking are still available and in use.
IMAGE: SIM DING EN
Discontinued monetary series and denominations
Since 1967, four series of currency notes (Orchid Series, Bird Series, Ship Series, and Portrait Series) and three series of circulation coins have been issued in Singapore. And yes, cash is king, because notes and coins from these series (even the ones that have been phased out) continue to be legal tender in Singapore.
Some fun facts about discontinued Singapore money:
- The $1 banknote was discontinued in favour of a $1 coin
- We had a $20 and $25 note from the 1960s to the 1980s
- 1-cent coins stopped being issued in April 2002
- $10,000 banknotes were discontinued on 1 Oct 2014, and $1,000 banknotes on 1 Jan 2021
IMAGE: SCREENSHOT FROM YOUTUBE/@BUS INTERCHANGE TRANSIT VIDEOS
A time existed when we had no smartphones showing the latest episodes of the hottest shows on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Yep, instead of looking down at their phones, commuters used to look up at TVs on SBS buses for entertainment.
And if you're any younger than "Millennial", you probably have no idea what TVMobile is. It was a subsidiary of MediaCorp Singapore and the first channel in the world to pioneer the use of Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) technology to deliver television programmes to commuters.
TVMobile was phased out on 1 Jan 2010.
Yes, Covid-19 is still around, and yes, it's been nearly four years since it hit our shores. Since Feb 2023, we've been living in an endemic Covid-19 norm (let's pray it stays that way).
The days when the TraceTogether (TT) Token and TraceTogether app were a thing (SafeEntry as well, anyone?) all feel like a weird fever dream today. On 13 Feb 2023, the Singapore government ceased the issuance and replacement of Tokens at the Community Clubs/Centres.
Standard MRT ticket
With nearly everyone using stored value cards or account-based ticketing such as contactless bank cards now, standard tickets - limited use paper tickets - were progressively phased out between January and March 2022.
Yesterday once more
If you really want to go even further down memory lane (all the way back to the 1800s), then head down to the National Museum's exhibition, titled "Now Boarding: Experiencing Singapore through Travel, 1800s–2000s", where you can literally see what Singapore was like even before your great-grandparents were born.
Find out more here.