New option debuts on Metrolink’s Inland Empire-Orange County line
Metrolink, Southern California’s regional commuter rail service, which is based in Los Angeles, US, has launched the first version of its mobile ticketing app, which will allow its riders the option to purchase their ticket on a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device for the first time in the agency’s 23 year history. The app is available in both Google Play and the Apple App stores.
While the app is available for download by all riders, during the month of March only Inland Empire-Orange County Line riders will be able to use the app to purchase tickets and connect to local bus operators at no additional cost per the current policy. This gives Metrolink the opportunity to test the app and make any improvements before the app is implemented system-wide.
“This app means easier access for Metrolink riders,” said chair of the Metrolink board of directors, Shawn Nelson, who is also an Orange County Supervisor representing communities along the Inland Empire-Orange County Line. “The Metrolink Board of Directors is pleased to finally offer our riders this technology as an overdue option.”
Beginning in early April, mobile ticketing will be expanded to the entire Metrolink system and include free transfers to participating bus operators including Metro. Initially, riders who transfer to Metro Rail, Corporate QuickCard users and Metrolink riders who take part in the Rail 2 Rail programme with Amtrak should continue to use paper tickets from Metrolink’s ticket vending machines.
Said Metrolink CEO Art Leahy: “By taking a phased approach in the implementation of our new app, Metrolink intends to make regular improvements and upgrades based on feedback from our users. Our riders can look forward to continuous improvement of Metrolink service, including mobile ticketing.”
Metrolink will be implementing a variety of enhancements to enable these users to use mobile ticketing in the future. This autumn, barcode readers will be installed on the Metro Rail fare gates, enabling passengers throughout the Metrolink system to buy tickets through the Metrolink Mobile App and continue their commute on dozens of city bus, shuttle bus, light rail and subway lines seamlessly and at no additional cost. Metrolink is also working with Amtrak to allow mobile tickets to be scanned by Amtrak conductors.
The Metrolink Mobile App uses the Masabi JustRide mobile ticketing system, which is used by other transportation providers across the US and Europe.
Since the agency’s inception in 1991, passengers purchasing tickets and passes at stations only had the option of going to a ticket vending machine. Mobile ticketing is Metrolink’s first step toward revolutionizing how riders pay to ride the train.
In the coming months, Metrolink expects to deliver continued enhancements, such as the ability to buy tickets online for delivery to mobile devices. Tickets and passes will continue to be available at station ticket machines.