FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — A new app that will allow train riders on Metro-North's New Haven Line to purchase tickets from their smartphones is drawing praise from Fairfield County’s leading commuter advocate.
“I think it looks great,” Commuter Action Group founder Jim Cameron of Darien told the Daily Voice. “It has the kind of functionality that will make riding Metro-North easier.”
The MTA eTix app, which the agency plans to roll out to New Haven Line riders in August, will be available on the App Store and Google Play.
The MTA made the app available to customers on Long Island Railroad’s Port Washington line and Metro-North’s Hudson Line in June.
The app will allow riders to buy tickets ranging from one-way tickets to commuter passes online. And while most commuters currently order paper passes through the mail, Cameron said the app is certainly more convenient.
And, of course, the app eliminates the hassle of a lost paper ticket.
"The phone is probably the last thing they're going to lose," Cameron said. "People may get the station and say, 'I forgot my wallet, I forgot my homework, but I didn't lose my phone.'"
Asked what improvements could be made to the Metro-North app, Cameron said would like to see a feature used in another popular ride sharing app. “I imagine that if Uber can know exactly where you are using GPS to be able deliver a car to you in five minutes, the Metro-North app could also use GPS.”
Using location-based technology, Cameron said an app could perhaps predict which train a rider is waiting for based on the time and his or her location. The app could then notify the rider if his or her train is late — and for how long.
But despite this suggestion, Cameron said the app is a job well done.
“I’m always trying to be fair in my commentary on the railroad and when they do something right, I give them credit for it,” Cameron said. “Two thumbs up...on this one.”
The MTA eTix app was developed by Masabi Ltd, which also created electronic mobile ticketing programs for the MBTA Commuter Rail in Boston, NICE Bus on Long Island, and Metrolink in Los Angeles.
For FAQs on the app, visit the MTA's website here.
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