The MTR’s single-journey tickets with magnetic strips are being

phased out from October, to be replaced by smart cards.

The system has been

in use since the MTR opened in 1979.

The railway company said that as it was

becoming more difficult to obtain parts for maintenance, it had decided to replace the

single-journey tickets with ones similar to the Octopus card.

Chief of operations

engineering David Leung Chuen-choi said the replacement would cost HK$200 million.

Single-journey ticket users will have to place their tickets on the Octopus sensors to

enter the system and insert them into the gates to get out.

In the first phase of

the replacement, quieter stations such as Olympic will start using the tickets. Meanwhile,

new gates will be installed in other stations to accept the new cards.

Leung said

the smart tickets were thicker than existing ones and could not be used in the old gates.

The MTR would deploy more staff to help passengers until the upgrade on the 82 stations in

the network was completed in the middle of next year.

The new tickets will also be

used for other products, such as a “City Saver”, which costs HK$400 for 40 rides on the

urban network.