Friday, July 10, 2009

Seoul Subway is replacing paper tickets with RFID smart cards

ST wins Seoul subway order for RFID chips
Peter Clarke EE Times Europe

The world's first RFID-based scheme for single-journey reusable ticketing in mass transportation has recently gone live in Seoul, South Korea, and is expected to save some 3 billion won (about $2.4 million) per year. The system is based on RFID technology from STMicroelectronics.

The New Transportation system introduced a refillable traffic-card system called T-Money, alongside conventional paper tickets for cash-paying passengers. Now, to save the cost of providing more than 450 million printed paper tickets every year, estimated at 6.8 won each, the Seoul Subway is replacing its paper tickets with RFID smart cards called Single Journey Tickets.

Each ticket contains ST's SRT512 contactless memory chip, which has features that allow the cards to be returned and re-issued to new passengers. ST has worked with card issuer Korea Smart Card Co. Ltd. (KSCC) to optimize the SRT512 to support the subway's ticketing system.

The SRT512 is designed for short-range applications meeting ISO 14443-B that need re-usable tokens, such as access-control, event-ticketing and mass-transport ticketing. To operate effectively in these applications, the device features a built-in anti-collision mechanism to prevent conflicts with other nearby cards.

ST has also previously collaborated with KSCC in the introduction of the T-Money pre-paid transport card. Accepted in buses, subway and taxis, these cards can also be used as an e-purse enabling low-value payments in shops in Seoul. The T-Money pre-paid card is based on the ST19WR contactless smartcards and has been deployed in large volume for two years. ◦

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