Courtesy of Engagdet, the MBTA will be debuting the first smartphone rail ticketing system for commuter rail. The new system, set to go into effect this fall will allow commuters to purchase a ticket on their smart phone. Conductors will then use a QR Code reader to scan the smartphone screen and confirm the ticket. Monthly pass holders will be able to link their Charlie Card to the smartphone app for seamless integration. The MBTA hopes to save money on ticket vending machines (which not all stations have) and cash handling costs. Consumers will also benefit by not having to have cash when boarding the train.
This is an excellent advancement in technology. Hopefully this combined with Amtrak’s continued E-Ticketing testing will push other railroad agencies to move towards electronic ticketing.