LTA decorates trains for 10th Graciousness Campaign, launches new payment mode

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has painted public transport nodes with vibrant, refreshed visuals for its 10th Graciousness Campaign. This comes as it is holding roadshows throughout April to promote the new contactless payment mode, SimplyGo.

The publicity materials, which are featured on sheltered walkways, bus stops, MRT stations and theme trains, incorporate "stronger elements of inclusiveness" to encourage commuters to pay extra care to those in need, said a press release. As such, LTA partnered students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts to give its five gracious icons, first rolled out in 2014, a makeover that not only looks chic but are also accessible to everyone. The move seeks to convey that anyone can emulate the acts of graciousness advocated by the five characters.

The characters, collectively known as the Thoughtful Bunch, will be the starring on six themed trains running on all MRT lines from 3 April 2019. According to LTA, the message behind the “Your Thoughtfulness Makes You a Star” concept for the theme train is to celebrate and commend simple acts of thoughtfulness on public transport, such as giving up your seat to someone in need or moving in so that others can board the bus and trains too.

It is also looking to bringing the thoughtfulness message beyond public transport into commuters' daily lives by exploring new collaborations to create everyday reminders of how commuters can create a safe community space, foster positive social norms, and a caring commuting culture.

Partnership with Mastercard

LTA has also recently partnered Mastercard to launch a new contactless payment mode, SimplyGo, to enable commuters to pay for their train and bus fares with their Mastercard credit or debit cards.

Besides eliminating the need for upfront top-ups, SimplyGo will give commuters the convenience of tracking their journey and fare history via the TransitLink SimplyGo Portal or TL SimplyGo mobile app. Other services on the portal include submitting of travel claims and viewing of claim status.

According to Mastercard's press release, participating in SimplyGo is part of its long-term strategy to drive wider acceptance on contactless payments in a digitally connected world. Mastercard's Deborah Heng, country manager, Singapore said that Singapore now joins cities like London, Sydney, Vancouver, Kaoshiung, Kiev and Milan, where Mastercard has worked with local authorities to implement contactless solutions for open-loop transit systems, integrating digital payments into a city’s core infrastructure.

“Through insights and strategic partnerships, Mastercard enables the interoperability of payments that benefit residents, visitors and local businesses to make cities more connected, efficient and inclusive,” she added.

Speaking to reporters at the launch, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng said that SimplyGo is not meant offer commuters an additional choice of payment mode and not meant to replace existing methods such as ez-link cards.

Formerly known as Account-Based Ticketing, SimplyGo started as a pilot with Mastercard cardholders in March 2017 with an average of over 100,000 cardholders on buses and trains daily and more than 26 million trips made. With SimplyGo, commuters can tap and go with their contactless bank card, mobile wallet or wearable linked to their Mastercard card. If there is a CEPAS logo on the back of their bank card, cardholders can enable their Mastercard card for transit via any General Ticketing Machine and start using it on their next ride. Visa is expected to come on board later this year.

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