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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Metro Gets Computers And Credit

In a step to modernize a crumbling infrastructure, Moscow's metro authorities have launched a pilot test of tickets backed with magnetic strips that are to be read and controlled by computer. Dmitry Gayev, first deputy head of the city metro, said tickets are currently sold at Prospekt Mira station as a test run for the system, scheduled for completion in three years' time. "I am positive that it will be a success," Gayev said, adding that the innovation is not expected to turn a profit or even pay for the installation. "This is to improve the service, and such things are never profitable," Gayev said. If the domestically made system is approved by experts in two weeks, each of the metro's 148 functioning stations will receive a sample unit by April 1995. Within three years all existing turnstiles would be replaced by the computer-operated digital ones, Gayev said. The new magnetic cards are designed as a sort of metro credit card with money automatically debited for each ride, he said. Passengers would be free to put any sum on their card account, while trip costs would vary according to the length of a ride and the number of transfers.