Wednesday, May 28, 2014

VRE taps GlobeSherpa for mobile ticketing

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Portland, Ore.-based GlobeSherpa said Wednesday, May 28, 2014 it has been awarded a contract by Virginia Railway Express (VRE) to "provide a complete, end-to-end mobile phone ticketing software system for VRE riders."

When the new system launches, "VRE customers will be able to purchase and use VRE commuter rail tickets with just a few clicks on their smartphone," the company said.

"We are thrilled to be selected by VRE as their mobile ticketing partner," said Nat Parker, CEO of GlobeSherpa. "GlobeSherpa strives to be the most innovative provider of mobile ticketing software and we look forward to providing VRE riders with train tickets at the click of a button."

"We wanted to give our customers a secure and convenient way of purchasing and validating VRE tickets and we believe GlobeSherpa's mobile ticketing system will be a tremendous leap forward for our riders," said VRE CEO Doug Allen. "Mobile ticketing technologies can reduce the cost of fare collection, help optimize operations, and improve the rider experience and we're pleased to get this project going."

VRE will be using GlobeSherpa's end-to-end mobile ticketing and fare collection platform that includes: a Rider Application and eCommerce website for fast purchase and easy use of mobile tickets by VRE riders; a Fare Inspector Application to quickly authenticate and verify tickets; and a sophisticated Transaction and Operations Management System (TOMS) back-office analytics software that allows VRE operations staff to manage the system through an easy-to-use, yet robust, cloud-based dashboard.

All VRE fares will be available for purchase including single ride, Ten-Trip, Five-Day, and monthly passes. Riders will be able to purchase tickets for any origin or destination and pay with either a debit or credit card. Tickets are sent to users' phones in the form of a secure, animated electronic ticket that can be validated visually by conductors, or scanned by a conductor's handheld device using an encrypted barcode that will verify that the ticket is valid.

The mobile ticketing system will be designed to provide interoperability with regional partner fare products, including WMATA's SmartBenefits functionality,  and eventually include support for the New Electronic Payments Program (NEPP).

The VRE mobile ticketing app will be available for download from an app store at no cost. The system is expected to become generally available in 2015, GlobeSherpa said.