Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Metro-North plans smartphone ticketing

Written by  Luther S. Miller

MTA Metro-North announced Wednesday that it is working with Masabi US Ltd. to test a smartphone app "that will let people buy their train tickets anywhere, anytime and never have to hold a piece of paper."

During the pilot, which begins in August, Metro-North employees will act as customers as they download the free app to their iPhone, Android, or Blackberry phones. The app will permit them to buy any type of ticket--one-way, round trip, 10-trip, monthly—with any origin and destination using credit or debit cards.

"We are as excited to begin testing the next generation ticket selling technology as we were when we introduced ticket vending machines a quarter of a century ago," said Metro-North President Howard Permut. "Our customers adapted quickly to TVMs and the machines became the preferred way to buy tickets. The latest test is intended to ensure that the newest technology will be equally easy to use, as well as secure and reliable."

"Smartphones have the potential to transform the public transit systems across the United States," said Giacomo Biggiero, director of Masabi US Ltd. He said the company is working with Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to introduce smartphone rail ticketing system this fall.