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Keolis launches 'biometric' time-clock system at MBTA commuter-rail facility

Keolis Commuter Services, which operates Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) commuter-rail network, has launched a new time-clock system that uses "biometric" scanning to improve the accuracy of timekeeping processes at all of its mechanical facilities.

“In the works" for more than a year, the new system enables employees to clock in and out by swiping their finger and tapping in a personalized PIN number, Keolis officials said in a press release. The system replaces the current badge system.

A biometric scan is a read of certain features of a specific finger. The system uses an algorithm to validate the identity of the employee in conjunction with their unique numerical PIN.

The new technology was rolled out Dec. 2 at the MBTA commuter-rail maintenance facility in Somerville, Mass. — the agency’s primary train repair facility for its commuter-rail system. It also serves as a layover/storage site for trains that operate in and out of North Station in Boston.

The biometric scanning system will go into effect Dec. 16 for about 550 Keolis mechanical employees.

"This new program, widely used by many businesses around the world, will enable Keolis to bring a modern approach to tracking time and attendance, freeing our staff to focus their time getting locomotives and coaches back into service more quickly to ensure our passengers get where they need to go," said Ernest Piper, Keolis Commuter Services’ acting chief mechanical officer.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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