After nearly two centuries of using paper tickets, the commuter lines are going high-tech.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected on Wednesday to give the green light to a new mobile ticketing app.
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, the familiar click of a punched railroad ticket may soon fade into history.
The LIRR and Metro-North are on track to launch a new smartphone app for riders to buy a train ticket on their phone or tablet.
“That’s so much easier than having to come earlier for your train to buy a ticket,” LIRR rider Samantha Cocit told Gusoff.
“I will definitely use the app to buy tickets,” commuter Joel Horowitz added.
If approved Wednesday by the MTA, riders will soon be able to skip long lines at the ticket window and machines.
“Today, I missed my train because I had to buy my ticket,” LIRR rider Jam Evangelista told Gusoff.
“The line could be really long and if you don’t get your ticket in time, you can miss your train,” commuter Janice Santoro added.
The app will be free for riders, but cost the MTA a fraction of a penny per transaction. The agency hopes to recoup that money with increased ticket sales and less machine maintenance.
Railroad officials say commuters are already using the timetable app and are ready for mobile tickets.
“They can do it at home, they can do it on their way to the station. It’s really going to revolutionize the way that we do business,” LIRR spokesman Joe Calderone told Gusoff.
The app developer, Masabi, said a quarter of Boston’s train commuters are already on board with the new technology.
“There’s really nothing worse than running to the train station hoping you make it and then fumbling for your cash,” one of the app’s developers said. “The conductor would be able to scan this.”
Ticket windows will remain for those who prefer to buy their tickets from a person.
Could a smartphone app for the subway be next? MTA officials say they are in discussions to make the entire trip seamless from system to system using a mobile phone.
If approved, the app is expected to launch by the end of the year.
NJ TRANSIT launched the similar MyTix app last year and already, 200,000 people have downloaded it. The app is responsible for about 625,000 ticket sales already in 2014.
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