Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) Greater Boston area commuter rail allows 127,000 commuters and travelers to get to and from their destinations daily. Similar to most big cities, it isn’t always easy for passengers to purchase tickets. They must purchase tickets from a kiosk or in person at a window. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, around 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Increasing populations in cities will mean longer lines to purchase tickets and less efficiency overall.
With metro cards, loose change, and in person ticket windows being a massive roadblock on the effectiveness of transportation authorities, e-Nabler and Star Micronics came up with a better way to purchase tickets with a Mobile Fare Collector solution.
Using e-Nabler’s eMobilePOS® unified commerce technology, Star Micronics’ mobile printers, and a handheld point of sale machine, mass transit operators can now accept any form of payment, anywhere with e-Nabler’s RailSales mPOS application alleviating the need to load a card or exchange cash, making the process more efficient.
“e-Nabler partnered with Star Micronics on the solution providing a lightweight mobile phone factor driven mPOS solution for mass transit operators that calculates complex fare permutations with a dynamic scheduling interface, completes digital transactions in real-time with any form of payment including credit and debit cards, and prints the fare tickets,” said Matthew Inan, Director of Business Development and Sales Operations for e-Nabler Corp. “The conductors are also using their smartphones with a payment sled and a 2D imager on them able to QR codes on the ticket fares and validate them. Each of these mPOS systems also serve as IoT data originators feeding real-time actionable passenger behavior data to the MBTA operator, Keolis Commuter Service to make decisions optimizing their operations and continue to improve passenger satisfaction.”
e-Nabler piloted their product with 10 conductors from the MBTA. Then, Keolis implemented the solution with over 400 conductors.
Conductors use the RailSales app on their handheld mPOS currently, and soon all other MBTA personnel will be required to carry a tablet-based mPOS to have the ability to sell tickets to any customer, using any form of payment. The e-Nabler mass transit solution is also expected to be deployed as fixed POS systems at the platform ticket offices.
“The solution was so successful, that MBTA decided that their platform personnel too, not just the conductors, would carry the system. So, if they encounter a passenger who has a question about how to get to a certain destination, they can also issue a ticket and collect a mobile payment for it. The platform personnel is just expanding the convenience of what we’ve done onboard,” says Inan.
People are becoming more interconnected and mobile payments has enormous potential to remove barriers and encourage that connection. e-Nabler’s eMobilePOS® technology is a next step at increasing efficiency and designing smart cities.
Written by: Madison Arnold