From this week, customers on four rail lines, north and west of Boston, will be able to use their smartphones instead of paper tickets to pay for their commute. This pilot project is claimed to be the first mobile ticketing programme is in the US.
Customers will be able to purchase tickets and passes using the MBTA mTicket app for iPhone and Android devices. The tickets are displayed on the phone’s screen as a digital ‘flash pass’ or encrypted barcode. The system uses the JustRide mobile ticketing platform from Masabi US Ltd.
In the first phase of the pilot, MBTA commuter rail riders riding on the Lowell, Fitchburg, Haverhill, and Newbury/Rockport lines can purchase and use single or ten-ride tickets via their smartphone. The second phase of the pilot will expand the app to customers using the Commuter Boat and Worcester, Franklin, Fairmount, Providence, Greenbush, and Old Colony Commuter Rail Lines. Under the second phase of the pilot, which begins later this month, riders will also be able to purchase and use monthly passes via their smartphones.
Less than half of MBTA’s 140 Commuter Rail stations have fare vending machines, forcing many customers to pay for tickets on board. Customers with smartphones will now be able to avoid the on-board purchase surcharge by using MBTA mTicket app. Additionally, the app eliminates the need to install new vending machines and lowers cash handling costs for the MBTA.
To help combat fare evasion, all mobile tickets also have cryptographic validation. Train conductors will be checking tickets to ensure their validity.
‘Ticket Machine in Your Pocket’ applications
London based Masabi develops mobile ticketing technology for the transport sector. Its ‘Ticket Machine in Your Pocket’ applications allows passengers to quickly and securely buy and display tickets on almost any mobile phone, not just smartphones. The company’s technology allows transport operators to enhance their passengers’ travel experience as well as offering increased sales capacity without significantly increasing costs.
Masabi works in partnership with major transport systems integrators, including thetrainline and Atos, and is deployed with leading transport operators, including Virgin Trains, CrossCountry Trains, First TransPennine Express, First Hull Trains, Chiltern Railways and numerous others.
Based in London, it has 35 employees and is backed by venture capital fund m8 Capital.
Mobile ticketing now available for commuter rail riders
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