BOSTON — MBTA commuter rail customers who take the train out of North Station can now simply flash their smartphones to show conductors their tickets.
On Monday, the transit agency launched its mTicket application, which allows riders to purchase and display tickets on their phones.
“With this new application, Commuter Rail users don’t have to wait in line to purchase tickets nor pay a surcharge for buying tickets aboard trains,” Acting MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis said in a statement. “Customers may purchase a ticket in seconds – anywhere, anytime. Mobile ticketing offers customers the convenience and simplicity that makes it easier than ever to use public transit.”
The MBTA is the first major U.S. commuter rail to offer passengers an alternative to paper. The program is available for iPhones and Android devices, and is expected to expand after Thanksgiving to rail customers on South Station lines and commuter ferries.
T officials say widespread use would save the transit agency from handling much of the $20 million in cash now changing hands in annual on-board transactions, which slows conductors; cut down on the punch-ticket debris littering cars; and help customers avoid waiting in lines to buy paper tickets.