Smartphone app allows paperless train tickets

Smartphone app allows paperless train tickets
A northbound Coaster train departs from the Carlsbad Poinsettia Station. NCTD passengers can now purchase paperless train tickets on their smartphones. Photo by Paige Nelson

COAST CITIES — Coaster riders can skip waiting in line and purchase tickets on-the-go, thanks to a new app. 

The North County Transit District launched its first mobile ticketing application for the Android last week, allowing passengers to buy tickets directly from their smartphones. The iPhone version is expected to be released the first week of August.

“The mobile app is like having a ticket vending machine in your pocket,” Ryan Bailey, NCTD Chief Financial Officer, said in a news release.

Bailey said in addition to purchasing same-day and future-date train tickets, passengers can also get information on schedules and real time arrivals.

“We are always looking at ways to make our public transit easier to use and we think this will be very popular with our customers,” Bailey said.

The app is free to download and tickets bought through the app are the same price as tickets purchased in person or online. Once on board, Code Enforcement officers will be able to scan barcodes embedded in the paperless tickets.

The mobile app debuted just in time for the popular Comic-Con convention downtown and Opening Day at the Del Mar Races.

Highlighting the races, the transit district is offering $11 ‘Pony Express’ combo tickets, which include race admission and round-trip tickets on the Coaster, Sprinter or Breeze. Passengers can also take a free shuttle between the Solana Beach station and the racetrack for free.

NCTD is one of the first transit districts in the state to offer a ticketing app. Spokeswoman Frances Schnall said the district will be adding Sprinter tickets to the mobile app, but there currently isn’t a definite timeframe.

To download the application, customers should visit GoNCTD.com/mobileapp. It is also available through the Android app store and when released, the iPhone app store.

 

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