Beginning today, customers on four MBTA Commuter Rail Lines, north and west of Boston, will be able to use their smartphones instead of paper tickets to ride the train. Under this first-in the nation mobile ticketing program, customers will be able to purchase tickets and passes using the MBTA mTicket app for iPhone and Android devices wherever they are. 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.
“The new MBTA mTicket application is the latest innovation from MassDOT and the MBTA.” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “Customers will now have the ability to purchase tickets without waiting in lines meaning they get more time back in their day and more control over their commute.”
With the new MBTA mTicket application, customers can purchase tickets in seconds via their smartphone. Once tickets are purchased, they will be stored digitally in their application’s ‘ticket wallet’ on the phone. With this new application, customers don’t have to worry about losing their ticket. If a smartphone is lost or replaced, tickets can be transferred effortlessly at any MBTA customer service location.
“With this new application, Commuter Rail users don’t have to wait in line to purchase tickets nor pay a surcharge for buying tickets aboard trains. Customers may purchase a ticket in seconds – anywhere, anytime,” said Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis. “Mobile ticketing offers customers the convenience and simplicity that makes it easier than ever to use public transit.”
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.
By placing a personalized ticket machine in the pocket of commuters, they can now buy tickets wherever they are, faster than ever before,” said Kevin Mansfield, JustRide Product Manager. “MBTA will also see significant benefits in terms of reducing costly cash handling charges and the cost of additional ticket machines. We are delighted to have launched our first JustRide end-to-end mTicketing system”