the invisible tag


the underground / metro ticket in lisbon was surprisingly made out of paper.
i made a mistake of inserting the ticket into the card slot, which was obviously for something else. despite the language barrier, a local guy tried to explain to me how to make the ticket work – i had no clue that it was in fact a RFID based ticket till then. a closer inspection revealed a really tiny bulge on the card – without the support of the graphics printed on the paper. the reader part also lacked the visual cue. perhaps there is a different approach in educating the public about the new technology – or this has matured in lisbon so long that the phase for the public education has long passed. in japan – there have been very elaborate efforts to make people understand the concept of, or at least learn how to use the touchless public transportation cards, like the easily memorable character, life-sized advertisements, and widely distributed instruction manuals.

3 thoughts on “the invisible tag

  1. Pingback: Trust/no trust (strange difficult and alien.) « human behavior


    Hey there!
    It’s too weird the card was not in english too, here in Porto our meter has it available in several languages..
    And the ticket is not in paper, it’s in plastic (magnetic).
    Hmm.. Next time go visit Porto. lol ;)

  3. dinis

    you are right, it can be very confusing for a newcomer seeing paper + slot. the thing was, there is and has been a rfid plastic card since circa 2002 when they implemented these accesses. but those were only the renewable monthly passes. the single trip, round trip, 10trip etc were all still issued as paper with the magnetic band for the slot. only a couple years ago were they replaced by those like the one you had, so i’m not absolutely sure.. but i would say there arent any tickets for the slots anymore! they should in fact be removed to avoid confusion.

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