I just found out that I can be fined up to $2,000 for meeting up eBay buyer at MRT station to complete the transactions.
I’m selling second-hand stuff at eBay, mostly computer part, CD, book, stamp, phone card, etc.
walao, like that how?
Got to meet up outside MRT station, bus stop or shopping centres??
Pay for goods over MRT fare gate and get fined $2,000
By Vivien Chan
YOU put something up for sale on an auction website. You arrange to meet the buyer at an MRT station.
One of you is inside the fare gate, and the other is outside.
For convenience, you pass the item over the fare gate to the buyer, and he passes you the money.
Do you know that you can be fined up to $2,000 for doing that?
The New Paper found out that under SMRT regulations, it is an offence to conduct a business transaction over a fare gate.
Earlier this month, Rediffusion deejay Gan Yeok Thiam wrote about this issue in the forum page of a newspaper.
On 18 Jan this year, the 43-year-old was waiting for a friend at the Tampines MRT station when he saw a middle-aged man pass some pastries over the fare gate to some people on the other side.
‘The man was carrying a basket with some Chinese New Year pastries inside,’ Mr Gan told to The New Paper.
‘Some people were buying the pastries from him, and they had planned to meet there.’
Mr Gan said the man was inside the paid area of the MRT station, while the buyers were on the other side.
He saw the man hand over a box of pastries to a buyer who then paid him.
At this point, two SMRT employees approached the man. Mr Gan said he overheard them telling the man that he was not allowed to sell items over the fare gate.
So the man tapped his ez-link card and went out into the station’s unpaid area.
There, he continued his dealing with his buyers.
Again, another two SMRT employees approached him, Mr Gan claimed.
‘They looked like they were going to chase him away, so he quickly finished what he was doing and went back into the (paid area of the) MRT station.’
Curious, Mr Gan approached the man to find out more. The man told him he had done transactions over the fare gate before, but that was the first time he had been warned by SMRT staff.
When contacted, an SMRT spokesman confirmed it is indeed against their regulations to conduct business transactions over the fare gate.
The spokesman said the maximum penalty for such an offence is a $2,000 fine.
When asked if transactions are allowed if both parties are in the paid area, or the unpaid area, a spokesman for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said: ‘Other factors such as the effect of business or trade on passenger flow, safety and security considerations are taken into consideration.’
So far, no one has been fined as most commuters heed the advice given by the SMRT staff.
Is this necessary?
So why is there a need for such a rule?
The LTA spokesman said: ‘The purpose of the rapid transit system is to transport passengers.
‘Hence, the regulation discourages the carrying of goods or articles for the purpose of trade or business, unless the article or good is taken by a person through the fare gate.’
But Mr Gan feels the rule is too stringent.
‘It’s not as if the man was soliciting for buyers at the station,’ he pointed out.
‘We’re living in difficult times now. Shouldn’t we be more compassionate towards people who are just trying hard to make a simple living?’
Do commuters know about the rule?
Of the 16 whom The New Paper spoke to, 11 did not know about the rule, while 12 of the 16 were not bothered about it.
But Mr Ragendran, 26, an operations leader, supported the rule, saying that it’s reasonable, as ‘it will inconvenience others if such transactions are carried out’.
Additional reporting by Darren Foong and Han Su-Ying, newsroom interns.
This article was first published in The New Paper.