Boston commuters can begin saying goodbye to paper tickets. Starting today, riders on MBTA Commuter Rail lines on routes north and west of the city can use their smartphones to ride the train.
A new mobile ticketing effort lets MBTA customers purchase tickets and passes from anywhere via the MBTA mTicket app for iPhone and Android devices. The app displays tickets as a barcode that can be scanned by conductors.
"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."
The mobile ticketing system was developed with Masabi US Ltd. using that company's JustRide mobile ticketing platform. Masabi and MBTA announced their partnership earlier this year. The announcement that riders can now use the app on the Lowell, Fitchburg, Haverhill and Newbury/Rockport lines is only the first. A second phase will expand mobile payments to other commuter rail lines.
"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."
According to the MBTA, less than half of its 140 commuter rail stations have fare vending machines, meaning customers must buy tickets on board. The new smartphone ticketing system allows customers to avoid the on-board purchase surcharge. It also eliminates the need for MBTA to install more vending machines.
"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."