Customers of four MBTA Commuter Rail lines can now use their smartphones to board the train.
Starting this week, riders of the Lowell, Fitchburg, Haverhill and Newbury/Rockport lines can use the MBTA mTicket app for iPhone and Android to purchase single or 10-ride tickets, according to an MBTA statement.
The system works by displaying the tickets on the phone’s screen as a digital “flash pass” barcode, according to the statement.
“Customers will now have the ability to purchase tickets without waiting in lines meaning they get more time back in their day and more control over their commute,” said Richard A. Davey, secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in the statement.
Customers will also benefit from not having to pay the on-board surcharge. Less than half of the 140 Commuter Rail stations have fare vending machines forcing customers to buy tickets on the train, the statement says.
The second phase of the program, which will be rolled out later this month, will include the Worcester, Franklin, Fairmount, Providence, Greenbush, Old Colony and Commuter Boat rail services. In this phase, riders will be able to purchase monthly passes.
The first-in-the-country commuter mobile ticketing program will reduce MBTA costs as less ticket machines will be needed, the statement says.
The system uses the JustRide mobile ticketing platform from Masabi US Ltd.
“By placing a personalized ticket machine in the pocket of commuters, they can now buy tickets wherever they are,” Kevin Mansfield, JustRide project manager, said in the statement.