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Fares & Payment Systems

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Integrated Fares

Our public transport system is of a hub-and-spoke design, which is an efficient model to bring commuters to a transport hub and then onwards to their destination. Transfers are an integral part of this system.

Before the Distance Fares system was implemented, commuters making transfers (between bus and MRT, and between buses) had to pay a boarding charge each time they board.

Hence, commuters paid more to make a transfer journey compared to a direct journey, even if he travelled on a comparable route over the same distance. This additional cost of making a transfer discouraged people from making transfers even when it made more sense to do so.

A distance-based fare structure was thus introduced in 2010 to further improve the connectivity of the public transport system. Commuters only need to pay a fare based on the total distance travelled from origin to destination, regardless of the number of transfers they make.

This fare system removed the previous fare penalty associated with bus-MRT or bus-bus transfers and made transfers more seamless and convenient.

Commuters have more flexibility and choice over the routes for their journeys. They would not be penalised for choosing to make transfers if doing so was faster, more direct or provided a better travel experience, compared to having to wait for a direct service in order to avoid paying the “transfer penalty”.

Fare Review Mechanism Committee

In November 2013, the Government accepted the report by the Fare Review Mechanism Committee (FRMC). The report recommended a holistic set of improvements with the aim of keeping public transport fares affordable and ensuring that the public transport system remains financially sustainable.

Read the FRMC Report

Integrated Payment System

To increase choice and convenience for commuters, LTA has launched its next generation e-payment system for public transit, Symphony for e-Payment (SeP) in December 2008.

With this new e-payment system, commuters are able to use cards issued by any card issuer for transit purposes, as long as the cards comply with the CEPAS technology standard and include the transit application.

These new CEPAS-compliant cards can also be used for retail and non-transit payments such as those for Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) and Electronic Parking System (EPS) carparks.