The T is 'elated' with repsonse to mobile ticketing app
On Monday, the MBTA launched a new smartphone app that lets customers buy their commuter rail tickets with their iPhones, Androids or Blackberries. Read on to see how it's gone over.
Earlier this week, the MBTA became the first transit agency in the nation to offer mobile ticketing to its customers, and today, T officials say they could not be happier with the response they've gotten from commuters.
As of this afternoon, there have been about 6,500 downloads, equating to about $10,000 in sales.
"Considering we were starting small with just single and ten-ride passes, we're elated," said MBTA Director of Innovation Joshua Robin. "I'd say it is in line or a little bit better than our expectations, and it is pretty exciting to see."
Robin said the T has seen about 400 people using the tickets each day, and despite a few questions, the conductors have reported smooth fare collections on board.
For now, the app is only available for commuter trips that travel through North Station, but in a few weeks it will extend to customers at South Station as well as ferries.
"We haven't heard any major issues yet," Robin said, adding that when the T launches the app for commuter lines that travel through South Station, which is slated to happen sometime after Thanksgiving, officials hope to inform people about the app as they purchase paper tickets on board.
"I think (the South Station launch) will be more successful because we see more ridership there," Robin said.
The T's pride goes beyond the numbers - transit officials are pumped to have beaten other transportation agencies to the punch.
"Our feeling is that this is a revolutionary change, not an evolutionary change. We feel we are leading other agencies being in front of this sort of thing," Robin said. "Other (transit) agencies are looking at mobile ticketing right now, but we've gone out and done this. People are really going to be watching us."