LIRR Online Ticketing Pilot Program a Hole in One

Long Island Rail Road conductor Edward Doerrbecker Jr. scans a customer's ticket | Photo: John Splotore, LIRR

A Long Island Rail Road online ticketing pilot program that allowed Barclays Tournament attendees to buy train tickets online was a “huge success,” according to LIRR President Helena Williams, and the agency is working towards a system-wide rollout of the technology. The program let customers print tickets at home or store them on their smartphones.

Of the approximately 30,000 riders that passed through Long Island’s Farmingdale Station during the golf event, 5,894 purchased tickets through the pilot system, and 100% of surveyed online ticket buyers told the Long Island Rail Road that they would do so again in the future. The response makes sense to anyone that has ever stood in a long Penn Station ticket line, wondering if their train will be gone by the time they purchase a ticket.

Despite the technical challenges of system-wide implementation noted by Newsday’s Alfonso Castillo, Williams stated that the LIRR “hopes” to launch a mobile ticketing program next year. LIRR anticipates issuing a request for proposals for software and hardware by the end of this year, likely in conjunction with Metro-North.

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