On March 18, 2007, more than 100 transportation companies (26 railway companies and 75 bus companies) – moving 30 million people of the Tokyo region – will switch to the IC card ticketing and e-cash system named “PASMO”. PASMO will interoperate and partially compete with SUICA.
Preparations go back more than 20 years, when Japan’s national railways started research on IC cards for ticketing. SUICA IC-card tickets were introduced commercially in November 2001 at 424 JR-EAST rail stations in the Tokyo region.
Tokyo’s PASMO combined with SUICA is likely to develop into one of the world’s biggest electronic payment and e-cash systems.
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