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Metrolink OKs $2.2 million for mobile ticketing readers

Metrolink's board late last week approved up to an additional $2.2 million to enable the California agency's transition to mobile ticketing.

The funding is for optical barcode readers at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (Metro) rail station turnstiles, which will allow Metrolink tickets and passes purchased on mobile devices to open gates. The board's action was necessary to ensure that Metrolink customers can transfer to L.A. Metro rail lines with the same ticket or pass, Metrolink officials said in a press release.

The readers will complement Metrolink's mobile ticketing solution, which is set to be unveiled in the coming months. Through the app, Metrolink riders will be able to purchase a train ticket on their smartphone, tablet or other mobile devices and display the ticket on-screen for inspection.

The board's decision authorized Metrolink Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy to amend the agency's contract with mobile ticketing company Masabi and increase funding by an amount of $2.2 million, not to exceed $3.8 million, Metrolink officials said.

In February, riders on Metrolink's Inland Empire-Orange County Line will have the option to buy tickets on their phones. The line was chosen as the first to implement the technology because it doesn't connect to L.A. Metro Rail stations, which require optical barcode readers that won't be available until spring, Metrolink officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/19/2016