Doha Metro to be ticket-less, says Qatar Rail exec

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Daisy

The new Doha Metro will be ticket-less, with passengers likely to carry a chip-reading device in their pockets or bags, a senior Qatar Rail executive has revealed.

Chief technical officer Daniel Leckel said technology would be so advanced by the time the metro opened in 2016 tickets would no longer be necessary, saving time, space and cost.

“You basically detect if somebody has a chip card or some intelligent ticket in their pocket and you have a head count with a visual system [at the door of the metro carriages],” Leckel said. “The technology is there.”

Leckel said the metro design did not include large ticket offices and machines and stations could become completely open.

“When this is up and running there will be no need to have paper tickets or ticket vending machines; it will all be wireless with your smart phone,” he said.

“We'll go away from this paid and non-paid area concept. The station will be unpaid and the train will be paid.”

Qatar is building a four-line metro in the capital that also will link to a heavy rail network that will eventually be extended to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and then to the other GCC countries as part of a Gulf railway network.

The first stages are expected to be ready in time for when Qatar hosts the FIFA World Cup in 2022.