An app to buy train tickets from your phone will soon be available for commuters on the New Haven Line, including branch lines like the New Canaan Branch, state and Metro-North officials announced Thursday.
Officials also announced that bike racks are now available on all New Haven Line trains.
Here’s the announcement from the governor’s office (and see a video of the news conference, below):
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, (CTDOT) and Metro-North Railroad today announced that commuters on the New Haven Line — including the New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury branch lines — will soon be able to purchase train tickets utilizing an app on their mobile devices, providing added convenience to commuters.
Once on board, commuters will simply need to show the digital ticket on their smartphone device to the conductor.
In addition, the Governor today announced that in response to customer demand, bicycle racks have been installed and are now in service on every New Haven Line commuter train.
The New Haven Line is the busiest commuter rail line in America. In 2015, ridership reached an all-time high, surpassing 40.3 million passenger trips.
“This is another step forward in customer service and convenience for Connecticut’s commuters, who rely on a modern and effective transportation system to get to work and go about their daily routines each and every day,” Governor Malloy said. “On the busiest commuter rail line in the country, this new smartphone app will save everyone time and add convenience.”
- Commuter Action Group Endorses App for Metro-North Riders (April 18)
- Bicycle Stolen from Noroton Heights Train Station (Aug. 17)
CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker explained that the app, which is named “MTA eTix,” can be downloaded now and will become functional for stations along the New Haven Line and its branches beginning Monday, Aug. 22.
Like this article? …
- Sign up for the Darienite.com weekday newsletter.
- Like Darienite.com on Facebook.
- Follow Darienite.com on Twitter.
In addition to the ability to purchase tickets on the app, users can also check train schedules and see their train’s service status. It also offers account management tools, giving customers the ability to secure refunds for unused mobile tickets, request duplicate receipts, and manage account information.
To use a digital ticket with the app, commuters will need to create an account and then follow three easy steps:
- Purchase the ticket by entering information about origin and destination, select the type of ticket (one way, round trip, ten trip, or weekly), and enter credit card or debit card information. The ticket is then saved in an electronic “Ticket Wallet” feature in the app.
- Prior to boarding the train, the commuter should pull up the ticket from the device’s “Ticket Wallet” and activate it by tapping the “activate ticket” button.
- When a conductor walks through the train to ask for tickets, the commuter should have their activated digital ticket displayed and show their smartphone screen to the conductor. The conductor will visually inspect the mobile ticket, which incorporates digital anti-counterfeiting features.
The “MTA eTix” app was developed by Masabi, Ltd., which has also created electronic mobile ticketing programs for MBTA Commuter Rail in Boston, NICE Bus on Long Island, and Metrolink in Los Angeles. Metro-North Railroad selected Masabi following a competitive request for proposals.
Bicycle racks on every New Haven Line train
Following the recent purchase of 405 new, state-of-the-art M-8 rail cars that are now in service on the New Haven Line, the state began outfitting the cars with bicycle racks in response to customer demand.
The cars operate in pairs, and a total of 190 racks have been installed and are currently available for use.
“This is another example of our listening to our customers and taking positive action,” Commissioner Redeker said.
Bicycles are not permitted on peak-hour (morning and evening rush) trains.
The cost of installing the racks was $209,000. Connecticut’s share was $135,000 and the State of New York paid the balance under the 65-35 percent financial agreement between the states.
The New Haven Line is owned by the State of Connecticut and is operated by Metro-North Railroad under contract with CTDOT.
Video from the Connecticut Network
Here’s a 23-minute video of the news conference Thursday in which Malloy announced the new developments: