PRT Mobile Ticket Validators now system-wide, allowing riders to scan tickets using smartphones

PITTSBURGH — Getting around the city and parts of Allegheny County just became that much easier for thousands of Pittsburghers and visitors. This week, Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) announced that mobile ticketing validators — black oval electronic devices you might have already seen on public transit vehicles — are now up and running across the transit system, meaning people can now scan tickets using their smartphones.

The PRT calls it a seamless process: just buy your mobile ticket on the Ready2Ride app, activate the pass, and scan the screen of your phone on the validators, which are set up near the entrances and exits of public transit.

The PRT said this service has been available on buses and inclines for some time, but those who utilize the three light rail lines can now use the system, with validators installed on both ends of every rail car, making transfers that much simpler.

“All you’re doing is touching your phone and scanning your phone. You don’t have to touch anybody, you don’t have to deal with anybody. As long as your phone is up to date with the payment part of it, you’ll be good just to scan your phone and get on it,” said David Merlo, who lives in Baldwin and uses the rail line to get to work.

“I think it’s easy and more convenient. I would try it,” said Zoey Fletcher, who is visiting Pittsburgh this week.

If you don’t have a credit card, you can still pay with cash and use the app by using ticket vending machines. They have been programmed to accept cash, which is then loaded into the wallet of your mobile app. Additionally, PRT officials said the Port Authority ConnectCard will not be going away.

“It definitely would cut down the time and the time it takes to recharge bus cards and all that,” said Sheetal Kumar of Pittsburgh.

PRT said it is the first system for this vendor that goes underground.

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