Commuter Rail to Accept Onboard Credit Card Payments This Fall

More than 150,000 transactions processed with new feature requested by passengers

BOSTON – August 28, 2018 – Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis), the MBTA’s commuter rail operating partner, announced today that 60 percent of conductors now accept onboard credit card payments, and this fall all trains will feature this new technology. While cash will continue to be accepted, Keolis’ deployment of a mobile point of sale (POS) system is a first for the MBTA’s commuter rail network.

“As we continue to find ways to improve our customers’ experience, this technology offers an additional, convenient way for the payment of fares,” said MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez. “The adoption of smart technology like this will help accelerate the fare transaction process through a system that is already familiar to many of our customers.”

Last spring, Keolis piloted this technology, receiving feedback from conductors and passengers. Since that time, Keolis has continued to train crews to use this new system. Today, approximately 60 percent of conductors are equipped with this technology, and this fall all conductors will have this feature available to passengers. More than 150,000 successful credit or debit card ticket sales have been transacted onboard already.

The system consists of an app on the conductor’s existing company-issued smartphone, which is now paired with a handheld Bluetooth-enabled printer. Using the mobile POS app on his or her smartphone, a conductor selects the station-to-station information to calculate the zone and fare, and then processes the transaction.

“We believe this this new feature will be beneficial to many passengers because it’s fast and convenient, and it allows them to keep their money in their pockets for purchases that may only accept cash,” said David Scorey, CEO and General Manager, Keolis. “Operationally, this technology provides us with even more detailed station-to-station passenger data that can be used to better understand passenger journeys and design improved service patterns.”

Passengers paying with a credit card onboard receive a printed ticket receipt that provides trip details, including the date, station of origin and final destination. Passengers can continue to pay onboard with cash or the mTicket app. They can also purchase a ticket through a Ticket Vending Machine or at a ticket office.

The ability to accept credit and debit cards onboard is a payment option requested by passengers. Riders say it is a fast, easy and convenient option. All new conductors hired will be trained on the new mobile POS system.