JR East to Test New “Easy Tap” Ticket Gates at Shinjuku and Takanawa Gateway Station with QR Code Readers

JR East plans to test new automated ticket gates designed to make it easier for passengers to scan their tickets, with separate touch panels for IC Card and QR Code tickets. The new ticket gates have also been designed to be more accessible to passengers in wheelchairs. JR plans to test the new ticket gates at Shinjuku Station and Takanawa Gateway Station, the new Yamanote line station that will open on March 14th. The purpose of the upgraded machines is to reduce congestion at ticket gates.

New Ticket Gates

JR East plans to test new automated ticket gates meant to cut down on passenger congestion. Image: JR East

The new ticket gates were designed with three points in mind:

  1. To clearly separate the IC Card reader from the QR Code scanner so that passengers know where to touch or scan their ticket.
    1. IC Cards (like SUICA and Pasmo) are prepaid, re-chargeable cards that can also be used as e-money. They are widely used by commuters, students, and practically everyone else to save time and money. Instead of buying an individual ticket, the card can be topped up at at a ticket vending machine or charge a month’s (or many months’) worth of a commuter pass. With an IC Card “ticket” you have to actually touch the card to the touchpad in order to deduct the fare.
      1. Example of a PASMO card.

        Example of an IC Card via pasmo.co.jp

    2. QR Code Tickets are individual tickets that have a QR Code printed on them. These are not yet widely in use, but they are poised to be the ticket-of-choice in the future, as JR and other train companies plan to roll out more ticket machines that can issue QR Code tickets. What’s so great about a QR Code ticket? From the perspective of reducing congestion at ticket gates, the key point is that QR Code tickets can be read without physically touching them to the ticket scanner.
      1. Example of a QR Code ticket. Image via Impress Watch

  2. To make it easier for passengers in wheelchairs to access the IC Card and QR Code touch pads/screen and to see the LCD monitor.
  3. To place the QR Code scanner in a prominent position in order to raise passenger awareness of QR Code tickets and to make the ticket scanning process smoother and more efficient.

When and where tests will be conducted

Tests of the new automated ticket gate will be conducted at two stations in Tokyo: Shinjuku and the yet-to-be-opened Takanawa Gateway Station. During the test period you will also have the option of using the current ticket gates currently in operation.

Shinjuku Station

  • South Exit
  • February 1, 2020 (Saturday) to September 30, 2020 (Wednesday)

Takanawa Gateway Station

  • This station will open March 14th between Tamachi and Shinagawa
  • March 14, 2020 (Saturday) to September 30, 2020 (Wednesday)

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Source: JR East press release, January 29, 2020 (in Japanese)