India – Soon, walk into metro station without taking your card from pocket

By | August 3, 2017

CHENNAI: Commuters could soon walk into a metro station, hands in pockets, take a ride, and walk out without waiting in queues or swiping their smart cards. Chennai Metro RailLimited has invited tenders to introduce contact-less smart cards which can be detected by scanners at stations even if the passenger keeps it in the pocket or a bag. The ticket price will be deducted once the passenger passes by the detector at the entrance to the platforms. These cards may later be used for other modes of transport as well.

 

“The cards with embedded chips will cut down queues at ticket counters and save time for passengers,” said an official. “It is similar to a system abroad where cars with small chips cross toll booths. Scanners at these booths detect the chip and the money get deducted from the owner’s account. Metro rail facilities in a few countries have introduced this system,” an official said. “Here, this system will be more effectively when patronage goes up. It could eventually be used for buses when inter-modal facility is functional.”

 Metro rail has made it mandatory for commuters to buy smart cards to travel across the underground corridor from Nehru Park to Thirumangalam. Though it has reduced the time passengers spend waiting at ticket counters, they still have to manually swipe these cards when they enter or exit a station. Passengers travelling across the elevated lines from Little Mount to Airport and Koyambedu to St Thomas Mount continue to use tokens besides smart cards.
 It is, however, not clear if contact-less smart cards will be made mandatory across all metro rail stations. “We have only floated tenders. We have to get a card designed and see if it works without causing problems to passengers,” said a metro rail official.
 
Cities like Seoul, Hong Kong, London and Singapore have contactless smart cards in mass transit systems.
 

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