South Shore Line introduces mobile ticketing for Chicago commuters


Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) has partnered with mobile ticketing provider Bytemark to provide travellers on the South Shore Line with a way to purchase and store train tickets on their mobile device.

After installing the app, a user needs to sign up for an account with their name, address and credit card number. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted for ticket purchases. Passengers then show the ticket on their smartphone screens to conductors.

“It is visually verifiable,” Bytemark explained to NFC World+. “The app uses Bytemark’s patented Virtual Visually Validated (V3) ticket screen, which includes multiple security features to ensure authenticity. The train operator simply needs to look at the screen once the ticket is activated.”

The operator knows whether a ticket is valid or not by looking for certain features on the ticket that can change dynamically depending on the route and time of day, the company explained. Features include the background colour of the ticket, a visible time stamp and animations that can move from top to bottom or bottom left to top right of the passenger’s screen.

The South Shore App also features:

  • A Smart Tile home screen that provides users with the “most relevant content based on their settings and usage history”;
  • Train schedules, arrival times and a system map;
  • The option to purchase multiple passes on one device for groups travelling together.

In addition to the mobile app, Bytemark is also providing a user management platform and back end reporting system to NICTD.

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