A fast-paced commute can only benefit from fast-acting technology — namely, mobile devices that track the arrivals, departures and fares of LIRR trains. Now, as part of an initiative recently launched by the Nassau Inter-County Express, customers of the bus service will, as early as this summer, be able to pay their fare in advance with a simple click of their smartphones.
One of the first transit systems in the nation to offer a mobile ticketing system, NICE has partnered with Masabi, a London-based company that develops electronic fare programs on mobile devices, to launch a smartphone application that will allow riders to purchase and validate bus fares, making for an easier, more efficient commute.
“This project is one of several recent technology initiatives at NICE bus which will help transform the experience of riding transit in Nassau County,” said NICE’s chief executive officer, Michael Setzer. “We believe our customers will embrace mobile ticketing as they have in other systems around the country.”
Since the late 1990s, NICE riders have had only two ways to pay bus fares: either with an MTA MetroCard — which could be purchased at only one location in Nassau County — or with correct change.
With the mobile app — which is designed to offer the easy, secure purchase and validation of bus tickets on both iPhones and Androids — NICE bus riders will be able to not only buy tickets, but activate them aboard any bus. A passenger will be able to display to the driver a visually verifiable ticket on a smartphone, which will include a barcode for added security.
In the project’s later phases, NICE officials said, Masabi — with which the bus company’s provider, Veolia Transportation, launched the first U.S. mobile ticketing app, for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston — may install hardware in the program that would let riders pay by scanning a barcode or their smart device on a sensor.