NJ TRANSIT has begun using handheld mobile devices are on its Raritan Valley Line (RVL). The mobile devices can scan and validate both paper tickets/passes and electronic tickets/passes displayed on the mobile app, ultimately creating a more contactless customer experience and improved ridership data.
“The data collected by scanning tickets and passes will provide us with faster insights into ridership trends and revenue streams allowing us to more efficiently adjust service when needed,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “The mobile devices also have the ability for crew members to easily see information about potential service disruptions and improve onboard communications to customers.”
The rollout of handheld mobile devices follows a previous pilot program that beta tested the concept and provided real world feedback in the design and implementation process. The deployment on the RVL will be conducted in stages over the next several weeks with small groups of crew members receiving and using the devices followed by a brief analysis to ensure successful implementation until all crew members are outfitted. The program will be evaluated before moving to other train lines in the NJ TRANSIT system.
Customers will not need to take any different actions. Upon displaying their ticket or pass, either paper or through the mobile app, the train crew member will scan the barcode, including on monthly passes, rather than visually inspecting passes or punching paper tickets. Once scanned and validated, single-ride paper tickets will not be able to be used again. As the deployment moves across the entire system in the future, customers eventually will not need to hand the crew member a paper ticket, creating a contactless experience.
By scanning all ticket types, NJ TRANSIT will have improved capability to collect and analyze data including fare collection and ridership trends. Electronic scanning also combats against the use of fraudulent tickets.
The handheld devices will support future applications including providing real-time communication with conductors to enhance the flow of information to customers. Electronic scanning also provides future capability of enabling offline electronic ticketing, which would no longer require customers to have internet access to activate electronic tickets.