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No ticket? No problem on Japan's bullet trains

Shinkansen lines to offer e-ticketing as railway companies battle airlines

Three JR railways will offer a new e-ticketing service covering eastern, western and northern Japan, starting March 14, allowing for faster passenger boarding and lowering gate maintenance costs.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Starting March 14, passengers on Japan's high-speed shinkansen trains will no longer need to buy paper tickets.

Three of the country's regional railway operators -- East Japan Railway, West Japan Railway and Hokkaido Railway -- will offer the service, which will enable passengers with registered IC cards to ride on shinkansen trains without printed tickets. Central Japan Railway and JR West, which already operate a similar service called Smart EX, plan to incorporate Kyushu Railway into the new service in the spring of 2022. 

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