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Metro-North to distribute wireless ticket machines to conductors


Beginning this month, MTA Metro-North Railroad is introducing new handheld ticket machines to all conductors. The devices will enable conductors to issue tickets onboard, as well as receive text messages from rail traffic controllers so that conductors can provide up-to-the minute information to passengers during service disruptions.

The new machines will replace Metro-North's old "duplex" ticket blanks, which require a conductor to use a hole puncher to mark the boarding station and destination, fare zone and ticket type. The devices will enable conductors to download daily sales information and eliminate manual recordkeeping.

Developed by Metro-North's information technology department, the software has been copyrighted and other railroads have expressed interest in purchasing the program, according to Metro-North.

The agency tested the devices with 30 conductors last year as part of a pilot program.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/11/2008