N.Y. MTA to roll out mobile rail ticketing app

Posted on May 18, 2016

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the success of a field test for MTA eTix, a free app that will allow Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North (MNR) customers to purchase train tickets anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices, instead of using paper tickets.

The LIRR and Metro-North expect to launch the first phase of the MTA eTix app’s rollout on select lines in June, and the app will be available to all railroad customers by the end of 2016.

A beta version of the MTA’s eTix app has been in the hands of approximately 150 customers who ride the Long Island Rail Road Port Washington Branch or Metro-North’s Hudson Line. During the last few weeks, these railroad customers have been using the app in real-time, buying and displaying train tickets during the course of their commutes.

Both conductors and participating customers have been monitoring the app’s performance, and reporting any problems they encounter to the app development team in order to ensure that the technology works seamlessly when it is rolled out across the railroads. Preliminary survey results indicate widespread satisfaction with the app.

MTA eTix will first debut on the LIRR’s Port Washington Branch and Metro-North’s Hudson Line next month. After introducing the app on these two rail lines, the MTA will make e-ticketing available to all Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North customers by the end of 2016.

MTA eTix will be accessed as a stand-alone app or through the popular TrainTime apps, where customers can check schedules and see service status. MTA eTix offers account management tools, giving railroad customers the ability to secure refunds for unused mobile tickets, request duplicate receipts and manage profile info such as password and linked credit card numbers.

The app is being developed and implemented by Masabi Ltd., which has also created electronic mobile ticketing programs for MBTA Commuter Rail in Boston, NICE Bus on Long Island and Metrolink in Los Angeles. Masabi was selected in April 2014 following a competitive request for proposals issued in March 2013.

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