In Europe people are more used to having the ability to pay for things and have tickets scanned using their smartphones. Here in the United States people who ride trains to work still have to buy paper tickets in many instances, but that is changing. Boston is set to become the first city in the United States to get a smartphone ticketing service.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority serves 1.3 million people each day and is launching the first smartphone-based rail ticketing system in the country this fall. The smartphone-based ticketing solution is being conducted in partnership with a London firm called Masabi that has similar systems in use in the UK. The user will be able to purchase the tickets or passes using their smartphones rather than having to use machines or ticket windows.
The user will have to get an app that is available for the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry devices that produces the barcode ticket takers can scan. The system will be tested this summer in a pilot group with the full launch set for the fall. The Transportation Authority hopes that the smartphone solution will speed up ticket purchases, and the system could mean no additional ticket machines are needed.