Use Your Credit/Debit Card to Purchase Tickets Aboard Select LIRR Trains
LIRR has launched a pilot program using hand-held Ticket Issuing Machines that allow customers to purchase tickets on board trains with all major credit and debit cards.
LIRR conductors assigned to trains running between Ronkonkoma and Greenport will be carrying an Apple iPhone 4 equipped with a PaySaber cradle device that uses an application designed by the LIRR that enables train crews to make credit card sales and ‘debit-as-credit' sales and print out tickets in one easy transaction. The device will be used to process onboard cash sales as well during the pilot program. The pilot will expand to two Montauk trains on August 26th.
To save time and avoid higher, on-board fares, the Long Island Rail Road strongly urges customers to purchase tickets in advance at station ticket windows or Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs)
Customers who opt to buy tickets onboard will still be required to pay an extra fee of up to $6.50 per ticket if they board at a station which has a ticket machine and/or a ticket window that is open. In situations where a customer must buy on board the train and isn't carrying sufficient cash, making a ticket purchase with a credit card or debit-as-credit card will be an added convenience.
During the pilot, the electronic, hand-held devices will replace the familiar "duplex" paper ticket and ticket punch system that conductors have been using for decades. Instead, customers will be issued a smaller ticket printed by the device with no punching of the ticket required at the time of issue. Customers should retain the ticket to be used on any connecting trip.
As part of the pilot, customers will also be able to use credit cards to make bar cart purchases on the North Fork Wine Train departing Ronkonkoma for Greenport at 5:21 PM on Fridays. The North Fork Wine Train features a different Long Island vineyard selection each week during the summer season.
The pilot project is scheduled to run through October 9. At the conclusion of the pilot, the Railroad will determine if more testing is needed before a decision is made about expanding use of the hand-held devices to other branches of the LIRR.
A select group of LIRR conductors have been training on the new devices. Crew members were involved in the design and development of the application, offering a number of key suggestions that led to improvements. Crew members will also be involved in the evaluation of the devices during and after the pilot program.
The hand-held device is expected to make it easier and faster for LIRR crews to account for cash at the end of their tours. The ability to accept credit cards and debit-as-credit cards also is expected to decrease the number of onboard fare disputes and reduce the need for crews to issue bills that are mailed to customers' homes when they are unable to pay onboard.
Customers can get information about the on-board credit card pilot program at the LIRR's website or by calling the LIRR's Travel Information Center at 718-217-5477 (718-217-LIRR). If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider or the free 711 relay to reach LIRR at 718-217-5477.