TRANSIT: Chicago-to-Indiana South Shore Line adopts mobile ticketing app

Indiana regional transit provider teams with app developer to move away from cash-based pay system

Transit News Chicago Tribune June 03, 2014
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The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) rolled out its new free mobile ticketing app for train riders on the South Shore Line between Chicago and northwest Indiana. Smartphone users will now be able to purchase and store their train tickets on their devices instead of using cash to pay for paper tickets.

 

The NICTD worked with New York City-based developer Bytemark to create the app, which is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Users simply input their credit card information and/or details of a transit benefit account, and then they can purchase one-way, 10-ride, 25-ride or monthly passes. When they board the train, they show the conductor the ticket directly on the phone screen. Train schedules and a system map are also included in the app.

 

Wanting to move away from customers paying for tickets with cash at counters, vending machines or on trains, the NICTD began working on the app after a survey found 70% of riders owned a smartphone. Bytemark was chosen as the development partner because their system would allow for visual inspection of tickets rather than scanning bar codes or QR codes.

 

Bytemark developed the app for $50,000, and will also receive a 2.75% sales fee from tickets sold.

 

The company has developed similar apps for public transit services in Austin, Texas, and New York City.

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