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Smartphone App Available for Boston Rail Users

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

November 12, 2012

Smartphone App Available for Boston Rail Users

By Brittany Walters-Bearden
TMCnet Contributor

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Masabi US Limited joined together to initiate the first full-service mobile commuter railway tickets for smartphone users in the United States. Masabi, known as an innovator of mobile transit ticketing and the fifth largest transit company in the United States, has created an app for iOS and Android (News - Alert) smartphones—an app for Blackberry will be released soon—that will allow users to obtain and show purchased tickets on their smartphone screen.

Tickets are shown with both an encrypted barcode and a visual ticket, so they may be scanned prior to boarding. These tickets can be purchased through the Apple App Store and Google (News - Alert) Play app store by downloading the MBTA mTicket app.

Image via Shutterstock

Richard A. Davey, the MassDOT Secretary and CEO, said of the new app, “The new MBTA mTicket application is the latest innovation from MassDOT and the MBTA. 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.”

MBTA acting general manager, Jonathan Davis, added to his remarks, “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. Mobile ticketing offers customers the convenience and simplicity that makes it easier than ever to use public transit.”

There are 140 commuter railway stations in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority system and less than half of those stations have vending machines for users to purchase tickets. With this small number of vending machines, commuters are forced to purchase their tickets after they board the train. This can now easily be done through the app on their smartphones, which will eliminate the loss of tickets and lighten the workload of the train attendants.

This new way of purchasing tickets will eliminate the need to add additional ticket vending machines to stations. It will also increase revenue, due to these smartphone tickets having cryptographic validation, preventing hoax tickets that people will attempt to use to avoid actually paying for their ticket. Conductors will also be able to use a smartphone app in order to check the validity of tickets and no longer need to carry a heavy machine to do so.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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