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Kolkata Metro plans ticketing system makeover

For the new system, scanners to read the quick response (QR) codes need to be installed at the Metro stations.

SNS | Kolkata |

Soon Metro commuters using smart cards or tokens will not have to stand in queues for buying or recharging their “keys” to the underground transportation system. The Kolkata Metro Rail is mulling a scheme to introduce QR code-based ticketing system in the North-South line by the end of this financial year for a faster commute.

For the new system, scanners to read the quick response (QR) codes need to be installed at the Metro stations. The East-West Metro Corridor already has the provision for such scanners in its operational stretch. According to sources, the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) has prepared the software and is now to test its functioning, which the agency is expected to finish doing in the next two months.

“The work on software is being carried out by CRIS and is almost nearing the end. As promised by CRIS, the work is to be completed within two months,” informed an official.

“Once complete, the QR code ticketing system will be first introduced in the East-West Metro,” he added. The North-South line, which runs on an older technology, will require some more time before the introduction of the contactless ticketing system.

The city Metro has awarded the task of upgrading the gates with scanners to a private company. The work of retrofitting the gates is first to be tested at one or two stations. Once the testing is done successfully by the private company, it will be installed in the other stations of the North-South corridor too.

In addition, CRIS will handle the tasks related to the software. According to a senior official, the entire work is likely to take about six months’ time for completion. The Metro authorities are thus expecting to introduce the QR code system in the NorthSouth line by the end of this financial year.