Despite the widespread use of prepaid cards like Suica and mobile apps for train travel, physical magnetic-backed tickets are still sold at stations. These tickets, which contain metal components, require a complex infrastructure for their sale and processing. The shift to paper tickets with QR codes is expected to simplify the disposal process and reduce the environmental footprint, as the magnetic parts of current tickets must be separated during recycling.

Benefits of QR Code Tickets

By eliminating metal components, the new QR code tickets will make recycling easier and more sustainable.

QR code tickets will streamline the ticketing process, reducing the need for maintenance on ticket gates that can jam with current magnetic tickets.

Passengers will use QR code readers to scan their tickets, making entry and exit from stations quicker and more efficient.

Data Sharing

The new system will also enhance data sharing between the rail companies. Information on ticket usage, as well as entries and exits at stations, will be shared, providing better insights and potentially improving service.

The Companies Involved

The eight rail operators making this eco-friendly transition include:

  • East Japan Railway Co. (JR East): One of Japan’s largest rail operators.
  • Keisei Electric Railway Co.: Known for the Keisei Skyliner to Narita Airport.
  • Tobu Railway Co.: Operates lines such as the Tobu Skytree Line.

This move reflects a growing trend in Japan towards more sustainable practices in public transportation. By 2027, passengers can expect a more environmentally friendly and efficient rail travel experience, aligning with global efforts to reduce carbon footprints and enhance sustainability.

At Custom Labels are experts in variable data and have been manufacturing a huge range of code types including barcodes, datamatrix and QR codes for asset labelling and tagging and a wide variety of other labelling uses. Many of our customers choose our ultra-durable asset tags that last for years once applied.

Our ‘Ultimate’ asset tags have a thicker construction with higher impact, scratch and chemical resistance than any other label in our range. The tag’s durability comes from an under-surface printed process where the print is sealed and protected between the top material and the adhesive layer. Due to the product’s higher standard of durability than other products on the market, the tag will last for years both indoors and outside removing the need for more frequent reproduction or replacement and so reducing its carbon footprint.