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Moscow Metro: the World’s First Major Transport System to operate fully contactless with NXP’s MIFARE Technology


300 million MIFARE Ultralight-powered smart paper tickets issued in the Moscow underground to date

NXP, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, today announced that the Moscow underground is the world’s first public transport system to run a 100% contactless automatic fare collection (AFC) system based on MIFARE technology. Moscow Metro is one of the most heavily used public mass transport schemes in the world, carrying on average nine million passengers per day, and standardizing on MIFARE has helped improve the overall passenger experience and drive operational efficiencies.

The Moscow Metro AFC system, implemented by system integrator Smart Technologies Group, has extended its existing smart card based electronic ticketing solution in the beginning of 2008 by replacing the magnetic stripe tickets for 1,2 and 5 trips with smart paper tickets based on MIFARE Ultralight ICs to serve ad hoc users. Since the introduction Moscow Metro has sold over 300 million tickets within one year.

The MIFARE-based system provides Moscow Metro with a variety of benefits compared to traditional paper or magnetic stripe tickets, such as increasing the performance of the terminals at the checkpoints and improving travellers’ convenience. Since the introduction of the system, Moscow Metro has been able to reduce the level of fraud by an order of magnitude as well as significantly drive down maintenance costs and operational expenses.

“Moscow Metro has been driving transport innovation since first we deployed smart card technology in 1999 and is proud to run the first entirely contactless ticketing system in the world. We have continually evolved our system based on the latest NXP technology”, said Vladimir Zhuchkov, director Fare Collection Department, Moscow Metro. “Smart paper tickets provide passengers with a simple, hassle-free journey across the entire Moscow Metro network providing the perfect solution for journeys.”

Electronic paper tickets are the ideal replacement for conventional single trip-ticketing in public transport based on magnetic stripes, paper tickets or coins. The MIFARE Ultralight IC provides operators with a cost-effective solution for smart paper tickets based on the worldwide leading MIFARE technology for contactless AFC systems. It not only reduces queuing time and enables quicker boarding and exiting for all passengers but also offers a more robust system and easy upgrade capabilities for transport operators.

“Moscow Metro’s AFC system, based on NXP’s family of MIFARE family of chips is a strong international reference of how innovative transport operators are benefiting from contactless technology compared to traditional ticketing systems based on paper and magnetic stripes. These systems offer a clear return on investment for operators and also significantly improve the travelling experience for passengers”, said Henri Ardevol, general manager, automatic fare collection, NXP Semiconductors. “MIFARE Ultralight provides a flexible, easy to use and reliable chip solution for electronic smart paper ticketing in public transport, as well as for other cost-sensitive contactless applications such as event ticketing.”

MIFARE Ultralight is certified to the ISO 14443A standard, is fully compatible with the existing MIFARE infrastructure and can be easily integrated into existing schemes.


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