Mobile Phones Another Way to Ride Metro

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    Joy Sengupta www.khaleejtimes.com 

    DUBAI — Commuters using Dubai Metro, which starts rolling from September 9, eventually will be able to pay fares using their mobile phones, the Roads and Transport Authority said on Tuesday.

     

    Authorities said they were working on a system to allow passengers with a special chip fitted to their phones to pay by just putting the phones to the card-reading machines at all stations.

    Commuters who forget their nol cards can use this system. The details are being worked out, said Paymen Younes Parham, the director of marketing and corporate communications at the RTA. Ramadan Abdullah, the director of the operations department at the Rail Agency, said that concessions for students and senior citizens, as well as the monthly travel passes, will be introduced at a later phase. ‘No passes will be introduced on September 9,’he said.

    Commuters will be able to use the earlier announced nol Gold Card, Silver Card and the Red Ticket from September 9. The nol Blue Card and the passes will be introduced later, Ramadan said.

    The official said that the cards will be made available before September 9. ‘We are trying to ensure that the cards are available for commuters before September 9, may be a week before it,’ he said.

    The RTA had launched the cards in June as a mode of unified payment system for the Metro and buses. 

    The authorities said that between 500 and 1,500 people were working at each of the stations to ensure they were ready on schedule.

    There are 29 stations along the Red Line and some media reports have stated that a majority of stations will not be ready on time.

    Authorities refused to comment, sticking by their earlier statement that all  Metro stations will be completed and ready.  

    Meanwhile, authorities said that the Metro marketing campaign, entitled ‘My City My Metro’, was unique and had been a success.   The campaign is being run in association with Saatchi & Saatchi. Authorities said that there will be more interesting features to follow, which will ensure people know and understand the Metro. ‘We want people to be passionately involved and take pride in the Dubai Metro,’ Parham said.

    New payment mode

     – Special chip will be fitted to passengers’ mobile phones

     – Fare can be paid by putting the phones to card-reading machines at stations

    joy@khaleejtimes.ae