Train riders to and from South Station in Boston will be able to avoid train ticket queues come December by a smartphone app called mTicket.
The Android and IOS devices can download the mTicket application. On its first implementation in the U.S., the commuters in Boston could buy and display tickets using the ticketing system.
Masabi developed the ticketing technology and manages the system’s back end. Piloting the technology was Metro North Railroad of New York early in 2012. The London-based company’s technology is now used by Virgin Trains and other rail companies in U.K. Masabi is now coordinating with some other U.S. transit agencies.
Joshua Robin, Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) said that the phones of the commuters both served as their vending machine and ticket. They have recorded 7,000 download of the apps and a ticket sale of approximately $20,000.
The mTicket application system could ease the lives of passengers as well as conductors. Of 140 MBTA rail stations, less than 50 percent have fare vending machines. That means commuters boarding at those stations have to buy the tickets on the train. There is a $3 surcharge for tickets bought on the train.
For conductors, the smartphone ticketing systems unburden them to handle collected fares per year. Train cars would also be free of paper tickets debris.
According to Robin, with mTicket downloaded on their smartphones, riders can buy tickets and activate them. The smartphones shall display a sequence of colored bars due to be verified by the conductors. A QR code is also included. For some riders, this QR code is scanned if necessary.
Monthly passes will also roll out soon. Robin said that the smartphone ticketing system is doing well. In fact, they received complaints why the system is not offered for everything yet.