Singapore to pilot hands-free transit ticketing

Singapore woman in wheelchair being helped onto LTA bus
HANDS-FREE: The LTA’s system will make it easier for commuters with disabilities to pay fares

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has issued a tender inviting suppliers to design a hands-free ticketing solution that will enable commuters to access trains and buses without needing to physically tap their card or mobile phone.

“According to tender documents, the system will use either radio frequency identification (RFID) or Bluetooth technology, with sensors built in to detect the fare card on a commuter and deduct his fare,” The Straits Times reports.

“Companies can devise a piece of wearable RFID technology or smartphones with Bluetooth technology as alternatives to fare cards with RFID chips. These will not need to be put near the fare reader and can be kept in a bag or pocket.

“Under LTA’s specifications, the system’s sensors should be intelligent enough to distinguish between a commuter walking through the fare gate and a commuter who is simply passing by.”

“The LTA intends for this system to be capable of serving passengers in manual or motorised wheelchairs, those using walking frames or aids, and passengers who are certified as ‘mobility challenged’,” The Straits Times adds.

“Contractors have also been asked to submit a proposal for implementing the hands-free payment system islandwide, on a scalable and cost-effective basis.

“According to tender documents, this system would be installed on 6,000 buses, and 400 MRT fare gates should it be implemented islandwide.”