Riders on Boston transit will get to pay with smartphones

While it's becoming common practice in Europe to pay for things and prove payment with smartphones, in America we're still playing catch up.
Well, a test project in Boston might push that innovation – and comfort level – a bit faster.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is planning to launch an all-new smartphone ticketing pilot project this fall. That means that for Boston commuters, instead of having to rely on machines, or line up for ticket windows, they can buy their travel tokens on their smartphones. And when tickets need checking, they can use the ticket app to display a barcode that will verify paid travel.
The initiative will start on Blackberry, Android and iPhone smartphones, which make up most of the market at this time.
The good part for Boston commuters, and worth taking note for city planners everywhere, is that expanding to users phones means less ticketing machines need to be created.
If you've ever tried to buy tokens or a Metropass in Toronto on the first of the month, I'm sure you've experienced the horrific lines, angry people and constant dread of low stock. If you could buy that same stuff from your phone, the one piece of tech you always have on your person, likely infrastructure costs would drop and some of that fervent mob mentality on the first might be assuaged.
But I guess we'll wait to see how the program goes this fall.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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