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Los Angeles is latest big city to embrace mobile ticketing

Southern California’s commuter rail service Metrolink is the latest public transit system to board the mobile ticketing train, as the transportation industry as a whole moves towards untethered digital systems.

With so much of consumer behavior and retail operations happening on mobile, it is now becoming inconvenient for transportation services to lack the ability to accept mobile payment and ticketing. Commuters across the U.S. are able to purchase and hold tickets for transportation directly on their mobile devices, and Metrolink is partnering with Masabi to take advantage of this and serve its customers a seamless riding experience.

“We are excited to be partnering with Metrolink to bring bring their ticketing experience into the 21st century,” said Josh Robin, vice president North America at Masabi. “Metrolink’s ticketing system, reliant primarily on ticket vending machines, has not changed in more than 20 years. “With mobile payment customers can now purchase tickets on their phone anywhere, anytime,” he said.

Metrolink goes mobile
Metrolink will be launching Masabi’s mobile application JustRide for commuters to purchase tickets and redeem through smartphone devices. The new service will be available in southern California in the coming fall season, with France and New York likely joining as well.

More than 60 stations and seven train lines will be equipped with mobile ticketing for Metrolink. Mobile ticketing on JustRide has rolled out to various cities throughout the U.S. including Boston and New Orleans, as well as overseas locations such as Athens and London.

The system will be available to Californian travelers in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura Counties and Oceanside in San Diego County. Mobile users will be able to search train times, then purchase tickets through their devices and scan to enter, similar to a paper ticket.

The mobile program is advertising a secure payment system, a worry on many consumers’ minds with the growing popularity of mobile purchasing. Metrolink will be testing the system throughout the year prior to its launch.

Mobile ticketing surge
Mobile ticketing for public transportation continues to gain steam, with New Orleans also recently launching a citywide program and Chicago dipping its toes in the water by letting commuter rail riders use tickets on their smartphones (see more).

Mobile tickets are set to account for more than one in two ticket transactions on digital platforms by 2019, following a two-fold growth over the next few years as the transportation sector ramps up mobile offerings, according to a new report from Juniper Research (see more).

“We are excited to be bringing our deployment-proven technology to make everyday commuting easier for Metrolink riders in southern California,” Mr. Robin said.