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Monday, April 28, 2014

Metro-North Closer to Mobile Ticket Purchases

Coming soon to a smartphone or tablet near you –- the ability to buy a Metro-North train ticket electronically and display it on screen to the conductor.

The railroad said today that committees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board approved a contract to launch a mobile ticketing program and that the proposal moves to the full board Wednesday for consideration.

The contract is with London-headquartered Masabi LLC, which also has an office in New York. The company, with wide experience in the mobile ticketing industry, was chosen from 11 bids requested a year ago.

Through the program, railroad customers would be able to purchase a train ticket before boarding by using a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device, and then display the ticket on screen for inspection by a conductor.

Conductors would visually verify the digital ticket in the same way that paper monthly and weekly tickets are verified today or could use handheld devices to scan and validate tickets through a process similar to reading a barcode or QR code, an announcement said.

“More convenient ticketing options means a better experience using the train,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti.

“We want to make riding the train as easy and convenient as we can. We now offer real-time train status via app, and this next step – tickets via app – promises to be another big step toward increased convenience.”

While all ticket types could potentially be offered through mobile ticketing, not all would necessarily be offered at first, Metro-North said.

Metro-North received 11 proposals seeking a mobile ticketing supplier in March 2013. Masabi was one of four firms that were short-listed for more intensive evaluation, the announcement said.

Masabi is also implementing mobile ticketing programs for MBTA Commuter Rail in Boston, MTS in San Diego, and NICE Bus on Long Island. Metro-North said.

The announcement did not give a projected implementation date.


Posted 04/28/14 at 05:10 PM  Permalink


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