March is the traditional month for transit companies to rollout new schedules and services. March 2021 is an exceptionally busy one with many updates, here are the important ones.
JR East Suica Repeat Transit Point Service (Suica/Mobile Suica): make the same trip 10 times a month earn a free trip in JRE POINT.
Mobile Suica for Fitbit Charge 4 launch.
JR Central EX-Press Reserve and SmartEX Shinkansen eTickets reservation system updates: EX-Press Reserve gains Transit IC (Suica, PASMO, TOICA, ICOCA, etc.) support and both EX systems gain group ticket purchases for Transit IC and QR Code paper ticket pickup.
New Cross Region Commuter Passes (plastic Suica/TOICA/ICOCA only): JR Group companies extend transit region commute pass region boundaries inside their respective regions for easier cross region Shinkansen commuting.
ICOCA transit area expansion: JR West expands ICOCA coverage with Fukuchiyama, Kisei and Kansai line additions going online March 13, 2021. The Kisei and Kansai line additions incorporate on-board readers for tap-in and tap out.
New schedules with reduced operating hours, with fewer early and late trains go into effect.
JR East Commuter Suica Off Peak Point Service (Suica/Mobile Suica): JRE POINT rewards for off peak commuting.
Special Mobile Suica service maintenance and update: Mobile Suica gets an upgrade on the backend to support new versions of Android Mobile Suica/iOS Suica. Most of the new features are for Android but iOS Suica App will get improvements too. Mobile Suica users will be required to enter account ID and password with the app update. Make sure you have that information ready or update/reset passwords before the Mobile Suica 20 hour service maintenance downtime 11 am March 20 to 7 am March 21.
Almost last but not least we have the first ‘Super’ Suica 2 in 1 region transit card launch: totra for Tochigi prefecture.
The last item is Suica 2 in 1 region transit card launch #2: Iwate Green Pass that covers Iwate Kotsu bus lines.