MBTA launches rail ticketing app

Posted on November 14, 2012

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Masabi U.S. Ltd., a transit mobile ticketing supplier, launched the U.S.’ first full smartphone commuter rail ticketing system.

Customers can now purchase and display rail tickets and passes using the MBTA mTicket app for iPhone and Android; Blackberry devices will also be supported soon. The tickets are displayed on the phone’s screen as an encrypted barcode and as a human-readable ticket. The app can be found by searching for ‘MBTA mTicket’ in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

“The new MBTA mTicket application is the latest innovation from MassDOT and the MBTA,” said MassDOT Secretary/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.”

Less than half of MBTA’s 140 Commuter Rail stations have fare vending machines, forcing many customers to pay for tickets on board. This will no longer be an issue for many customers with smartphones as they can buy tickets via credit or debit card directly from their phone — anywhere, anytime.

The new solution helps the MBTA reduce costs by eliminating the need for additional vending machines and lowering cash handling costs. To help combat fare evasion, all mobile tickets also have cryptographic validation. Train conductors will be checking tickets to ensure their validity using their own smartphone application, avoiding the need for to them to carry heavy custom scanning equipment.

Masabi’s JustRide system is a comprehensive mTicketing solution that includes consumer-facing applications; management console; back-end servers; and payment integration and scanning/validation software for train conductors. All transactions are secured using its award-winning encryptME security system that has been validated to U.S. government standards.

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