Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Matthew » Tue May 01, 2012 7:20 pm

I wish they had implemented a CharlieCard based solution. Having said that, I cannot figure out if this new system will solve the problem of CharlieCard subway pass holders not being able to use it in zone 1A, even though the CharlieTicket pass is acceptable. If there is some sort of link between the smartphone account and the Charlie account then I suppose it is possible to satisfy both CR monthly pass holders and zone 1A monthly pass holders, but that might be hoping for too much.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby frrc » Tue May 08, 2012 1:14 pm

Interesting article on how AMTRAK is using Iphones for transactions...

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-57 ... t-scanner/
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby tvachon » Wed May 09, 2012 12:56 am

Here is an interesting question. Multiple sources have said the conductors will have a validating device. To me this means something electronic, which is in direct violation to 49 CFR Part 220 as I read it. Looking at the app developer's previous deployments, none are in the US, therefore 49 CFR Part 220 would havent had come into play.

Thoughts as to how the MBTA is going to try and get around this one? Or am I totally mis-reading this and there will be no handheld component by the conductors


49 CFR Part 220: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-09 ... -23916.htm
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Wed May 09, 2012 1:00 am

The MBTA version will be visual and not require a device.

Also, company issued electronic devices are allowed in certain circumstances. I do not want to start a discussion on the cell phone ban in this thread.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby boblothrope » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:57 am

sery2831 wrote:The MBTA version will be visual and not require a device.


Really? http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news ... /?id=24562 says:
"All mobile tickets will have barcodes allowing for validation. Throughout the pilot program, smart phone-equipped train conductors will be checking tickets to ensure their validity."

I was hoping that, since the customer's phone would basically be displaying a bar code, customers who didn't have smart phones could print a ticket ahead of time.

That would be a big help to anyone boarding at a station without a ticket outlet, who will soon be stuck paying the $3 surcharge.

If the customer's phone displays anything animated or interactive to the conductor, then a paper version wouldn't be possible.

Does anyone have a way to contact the people running the pilot program? I'd like to make this suggestion.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Teamdriver » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:03 pm

Yes indeed,if this setup can be Smartphoned, it should be computer-abled, like a boarding pass for the aeroplane that you can print at home. If the powers that be need help, check with an airline to figure it out , it can be done.
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Whether you choose to print your boarding pass the day before or just hours before the flight, your confirmed boarding position will be ready and waiting for you. Now you can print your boarding pass as your schedule allows.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:41 pm

boblothrope wrote:
sery2831 wrote:The MBTA version will be visual and not require a device.


Really? http://www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/news ... /?id=24562 says:
"All mobile tickets will have barcodes allowing for validation. Throughout the pilot program, smart phone-equipped train conductors will be checking tickets to ensure their validity."


They will be visual, no barcode! Right now no Conductors will have scanners to validate them. Down the road that is an option being explored.

boblothrope wrote:I was hoping that, since the customer's phone would basically be displaying a bar code, customers who didn't have smart phones could print a ticket ahead of time.

That would be a big help to anyone boarding at a station without a ticket outlet, who will soon be stuck paying the $3 surcharge.

If the customer's phone displays anything animated or interactive to the conductor, then a paper version wouldn't be possible.

Does anyone have a way to contact the people running the pilot program? I'd like to make this suggestion.


The tickets on the phone will be time sensitive. You will purchase them just before boarding, they will be time stamped. This is based on a system that already exists. This is not a new system.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby boblothrope » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:10 pm

sery2831 wrote:The tickets on the phone will be time sensitive. You will purchase them just before boarding, they will be time stamped. This is based on a system that already exists. This is not a new system.


What happens if the conductor comes to collect a ticket, and the passenger is still futzing with their phone trying to buy one?

Can you buy the phone ticket a few hours in advance if you want?
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:15 am

That is a great question, probably will be treated the same as someone digging out their cash. I am not sure if you can buy the ticket in advance and activate(use) it when on board.

Something new on the Ts site about it! http://mbta.com/fares_and_passes/passes ... Ticketing/
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby HenryAlan » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:59 am

wicked wrote:Even if not full-scale Charlie Card implementation, why not put ticket machines on the platforms like those at subway stations, like a number of other commuter rail systems (VRE, MARC to name two)? That couldn't cost $70 million. Last time I rode the commuter rail I didn't see any. I boarded at JFK/UMass and was able to buy a commuter rail ticket from the machine in the Red Line lobby. I didn't have cash and it made my life much easier.

Yes, I've often wondered about this. They don't even have very many FVMs at North Station, I guess because it's technically not a subway station.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby devils and trains » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:21 pm

It's a great idea to be able to just flash your phone to show your ticket (unless your battery dies). A few issues that I see happening. What will happen if you're a monthly pass holder which allows you access to the subway and buses? Will the fare gates be able to scan a bar code on the ticket? Will monthly pass holders lose this benefit?
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Teamdriver » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:35 pm

This smart phone thing will only serve the gadget crowd,and then the T can boast look how nouveau we are , cutting edge , we have cache. It will serve to deflect from the failure to engage the C Card . Very disappointing , its a lead balloon .
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby FatNoah » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:10 am

What will happen if you're a monthly pass holder which allows you access to the subway and buses?


For me, this is the biggest issue. I live in Melrose and work in Cambridge and have various Train, Bus and Subway options. The main reason I don't get a CR pass now is that dealing with the Charlie Tickets at faregates and buses is such a pain compared to tap and go with the Charlie card. For example, I use Wellington at least a couple times a week and often 3 or more fare gates are "Smart Card Only". Also, getting onto a busy bus and watching the ticket go in and and out and in an out for 15 seconds is really annoying. If I could get my CR pass on my Charlie Card, I would certainly do it, even with the fare increase.

As an android phone owner and developer (in my "day" job), I guarantee someone will immediately attempt to produce an app that simulates valid tickets. Finding and installing apps from outside the Android Market (oops, Play Store) is trivial. If a conductor is doing nothing more than visually inspecting a ticket, fraud will rampant. If the conductors DO have to carry an electronic device to validate, then it makes no sense NOT to support Charlie Cards.
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby Teamdriver » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:46 am

" As an android phone owner and developer (in my "day" job), I guarantee someone will immediately attempt to produce an app that simulates valid tickets. Finding and installing apps from outside the Android Market (oops, Play Store) is trivial. If a conductor is doing nothing more than visually inspecting a ticket, fraud will rampant. If the conductors DO have to carry an electronic device to validate, then it makes no sense NOT to support Charlie Cards."

I hope someone from the powers that be reads this, and hires Noah as a consultant !
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Re: Commuter Rail Tickets Via Smart Phone Discussion

Postby sery2831 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:54 am

FatNoah wrote:
As an android phone owner and developer (in my "day" job), I guarantee someone will immediately attempt to produce an app that simulates valid tickets. Finding and installing apps from outside the Android Market (oops, Play Store) is trivial. If a conductor is doing nothing more than visually inspecting a ticket, fraud will rampant. If the conductors DO have to carry an electronic device to validate, then it makes no sense NOT to support Charlie Cards.


The pass/tickets will have color coding that will change as the month goes moves along. This is not new technology, just being used for the first time here in the US. If you claim fraud will be rampant, why not show us an example for fraud in the other systems it is already used in?
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