The South Shore has become the first passenger service in the Chicago region
and one of the few across the country to offer a free mobile app to purchase
Members of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, the public
agency which owns and operates the South Shore, viewed a real-time
demonstration of the mobile app that also will provide train schedules,
station information, a system map and other content.
The app launched Friday and NICTD chief information officer Boris Matakovic
said by mid-morning 145 users were registered and all feedback was positive.
Available for both Apple iOS and Android devices like smartphones and
tablets, the service’s built-in security features accept Discover, Visa,
Mastercard and American Express payments.
The app displays a smart-tile home screen and can be downloaded through the
App Store or Googleplay; riders can purchase all types of tickets including
one-way, reduced-fare or monthly passes although the latter must be
purchased the 1st of the month or later in the month it will be used.
Multiple tickets can be purchased on one device for groups traveling
together. The app will email a permanent record of the purchase transaction.
Matakovic said 70 percent of South Shore commuters have smartphones to help
manage their lives so it made sense to give them a tool to better manage
An advantage for NICTD, said general manager Gerald Hanas, is eliminating
many cash ticket sales made on the trains. Using the app, riders will
purchase a ticket and show conductors their mobile-device screen with the
The app technology powered by Bytemark, a mobile transit ticketing vendor,
will employ safeguards like travel zones, color coding and expiration date
to assure the ticket is valid, said Matakovic.
According to NICTD marketing director John Parsons, NICTD expects mobile
ticketing will grow in popularity and the district will continue to upgrade
the app as needed.
Tickets still may be purchased from South Shore conductors, vending machines
and ticket agents.