Mobile ticketing has arrived at the Maryland Transit Administration.
The agency on Thursday introduced “CharmPass,” a mobile app that allows transit riders to purchase tickets and passes for buses, the light rail, MARC trains and commuter buses, and the metro subway with a smartphone.
The app sells local bus, light rail and metro subway one-way, one-day, seven-day and 31-day passes; MARC train one-way, five-day, seven-day and 31-day tickets; and one-way and 31-day passes for all Commuter Bus routes. It is available on Apple and Android phones and accepts payments via credit or debit cards and PayPal.
Kevin Quinn, the head of the MTA, called the app an “innovative tool that will eliminate the need for people to fumble with cash” — thereby streamlining the boarding process and improving reliability.
“This new mobile ticketing app is another way we’re working to improve our customers’ experience on transit,” Quinn said in a statement.
Users can split charges between credit and debit cards on the app, and reduced fare tickets for students and seniors are also available. Riders using the app will show the ticket on their phone to the operator, conductor or station attendant. Expired tickets turn gray when the screen is tapped to prevent fraud, the MTA said.
The app is intended to make transferring between the MTA’s various transit services easier. Riders using the app will be allowed to transfer between buses, subway and light rail within the span of an hour and a half at no cost, the agency said.
Once the tickets are purchased, they are stored on the users’ phone for use — a measure to make sure they can be accessed in an underground subway station, or other areas with poor cell service or WiFi reception.