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Beijing Subway Bids Farewell to Paper Tickets

The Beijing subway will on Monday bid farewell to the familiar paper tickets that have been in use for 38 years, local media reported on Thursday.

A new automatic fare collection (AFC) system would be put into operation in all subways stations in the Chinese capital, the Beijing Daily said.

Passengers will need to produce their magnetic strip tickets or mass transit smart cards twice when going through the system machines, both in entering and exiting the gates.

At present, a passenger only needs to present his paper ticket or process his smart card when entering a subway station.

Jia Peng, a Beijing Subway Company official, said the new AFC system would help collect information on how many people entered and exited the subways at different time periods of a day. The data would help the company to better organize the frequency of trains.

In addition, the magnetic strip tickets that have replaced the paper tickets could be used repeatedly -- about 2,500 to 3,000 times -- and thus contribute to environment protection, he said.

Beijing, the host city of this summer's Olympic Games, now has five subway lines with 140 kilometers of track, transporting millions of passengers daily. It plans to add three subway lines this year and reach 200 km in length.

(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2008)

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