SINGAPORE: ST Engineering has developed a prototype gateless be-in be-out fare collection system, which it displayed at the Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition in July.

ST Engineering says that ticket gates are the biggest bottleneck to station throughput, and this would eliminate that bottleneck. Cameras working in conjunction with a smart card reader detect passengers and read their smart cards without the need for passengers to stop or present a ticket.

Long-range ultra high-frequency RFID readers are used to read smart cards as passengers pass. A stereoscopic camera mounted overhead counts the number of passengers that have passed through, and separate cameras use automatic facial recognition to spot individual passengers.

The account-based system would require passengers to not only be issued with an RFID-enabled smart card, but also have their photo taken before using it. This could be done at a nearby Interactive Traveller Terminal.

ST Engineering says that verification of each passenger passing through takes less than one second, and multiple cameras would allow multiple passengers to go through at once. As well as people without a valid smart card, people going the wrong way would be detected.

ST Engineering is working with Land Transport Authority to trial the long-range RFID readers (but not the cameras) at Redhill, Tiong Bahru, Kembangan and Bedok metro stations. The six-month trial which started on June 22 includes 50 participants and uses 900 mm wide gates. The aim is to make it easier for persons with reduced mobility to pass through ticket gates.