Transit Gate Sounds and What They Mean

Mobile Suica and Transit Gate Sounds

When you pass through transit gates in Japan they make a beep. Everybody knows that but did you know the number of beeps have different meanings? There are 5 basic patterns:

  • 1 beep means the transit gate used your Suica Commuter pass
  • 2 beeps means the transit gate used your Suica SF (stored fare)
  • 3 long beep is an error that means your commuter pass is expired or the Suica card SF is insufficient to cover fare
  • 5 beeps means that Apple Pay Suica or Mobile Suica (Android) was a misread and needs to be touched again
  • The dreaded bing-bong sound is a full error: wait for the gate to clear and try again, try another gate or see the station gate attendant

In my iPhone X Suica problem video you can hear the 1 beep and 5 beep patterns plus a bing-bong error sound in the background from a nearby gate.

Last but not least a 2 beep Suica SF gate transit.