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EZ-Link card

Dear EZ-Link Card, Please Make Up Your Mind – Open Letter From A Confused Singaporean 

EZ-Link, we need to end this situationship

Sigh… EZ-Link, we need to talk. 

We’ve been together for years now and enjoyed some truly great times. But lately, I can’t help but notice that you’ve changed. My friends and colleagues say some of these changes are good, timely adaptations, while others don’t even recognise you anymore.  

I know we’re going through a rough patch in our relationship. One day you say you want to call it quits, and now you’re telling me you’d like to try again. But as I sit here confused about what you really, really want, I’d like you to know that you had me scrolling through our old photos, reminiscing the good ol’ days.

We met as kids 

card balance ez-link
Image credit: Hida Didi & Icons of SG

As a 90s kid, I was wary of the old TransitLink ticketing system that involved choosing your fare and waiting for a paper ticket stub to be dispensed. Every solo bus ride was a challenge until you came along in 2002, following the evolution of the public transport system in Singapore. True to your name, you did make things EZ-ier.     

Throughout Primary to Secondary school, we were inseparable. Sometimes, I’d walk home and use my bus fare to pay for Slurpees at 7-Eleven. Mum wouldn’t find out because I paid with my EZ-Link card; it was the perfect crime – and our little secret.

marvel ez-link

As I grew up, you even came in designs to match my favourite cartoons and movies. My classmates would always show off their latest additions at recess. From Star Wars and Marvel comics to even Looney Tunes, you had a place in my wallet from the very beginning.

They say there are plenty of fish in the sea. My friends and family asked me to give it a go with NETS, Visa, or SimplyGo, but I’ll always remember you as my first contactless transaction.

MRT station ez-link

In my tertiary years, I bought a concession pass every month so I’d get unlimited rides on buses and trains to get to campus. Seeing “PASS USAGE” used to make me feel like I was being wise with my finances, nowadays you only ask that I “SIMPLY GO” like everyone else.

Why did you stop communicating with me?

I know we didn’t really talk much, whenever I boarded a bus home from school our encoded language was simple. 1 beep for adults, 2 for students, and multiple beeps for “something’s wrong.” 

Disagreements happen in every relationship, couples give each other the cold shoulder when they don’t see eye-to-eye. But we weren’t your average duo, whenever I had an insufficient balance or low-value you’d be quick to call me out. Even if it meant other passengers shooting me judgy looks, so casually cruel in the name of being honest.

My parents especially loved how handy you’d come in when it came to paying ERP and carpark fees. In fact, my parents and grandparents are the ones taking this break-up the hardest. My folks still need to me log them into the family Netflix account or reply to our relative’s message on the family WhatsApp ground. And now you expect them to use an app for top-ups? 

EZ-Link card
There’s an EZ-Link card-sized hole in my heart now. 

If I only knew we would stop talking. I would have appreciated you more. But I get it – now that you’re linked directly to my bank account, you can’t display my financial information for just anyone to see.

How much was the fare? Did I get my transfer discount for jumping between MRT lines or swapping from bus to train? Now, I have to SimplyGuess or download an app?

 Thank you for accommodating my wants & needs

ez-link app
You even made things easy with remote top-ups. 

As I grew up, so did you. When everything went digital, you followed suit with a versatile sister EZ-Link application and added more places for top-ups like 7-Elevens, ATMs, and AXS stations 

So it’s not to say you didn’t try to make things work.

What are we?

At the risk of sounding cliche, I just don’t feel that spark whenever I tap in anymore. Whether it’s how different you look now or how you treat my elders, there’s no denying it – EZ-Link, you’ve changed.

Now you’re back hoping to make it work one last time. I’m happy that we’ll have more time together as you’ve been irreplaceable, but I do hope you make up your mind soon. 

For more laughs:

Cover image adapted from: Carousell