NJ Transit’s MyTix app saved my ass (and some bread)!


mytix

Has this ever happened to you?

You just make the train by the skin of your teeth, and as the train pulls away from the station, you realize that you forgot to buy a ticket.

Or you’re sitting on the train and the conductor asks you for your ticket. As you rifle through your pockets, you realize that you forgot your wallet.

Or you make the last train out of the city. Didn’t have time to buy it from the machine, but you’re prepared to pay the on-board surcharge. You reach into your wallet and you have no cash.

Or each month you purchase a monthly pass, but as you pull out your pass, you realize that its for last month and you’ve forgotten to re-up.

Don’t you hate that?

I’ve had each of these ridiculous scenarios happen to me (and some more than once).

And each time I cursed myself, lamenting the fact that there wasn’t an app which would have allowed me to remedy the situation right from my phone.

Instead of having to shell out an extra $5 (the penalty they impose for purchasing a ticket on the train).

Or experience the shame of being reprimanded by the conductor for either (a) not having a ticket; (b) not having a wallet; or (c) not having cash (or enough cash).

Why wasn’t there an app which would let me buy my tickets on-the-fly (and avoid these shameful encounters)?

Alas, my oft-repeated curses were not for naught!

Because NJ Transit now has an app that lets you buy etickets!

That’s right.

The app is called MyTix and it provides customers a secure and convenient way to buy rail tickets and passes from a mobile device.

I overheard two commuters talking about it a few weeks ago and promptly downloaded it from the App Store.

And it’s everything I’d hoped it would be.

No more running for the train like an idiot.

Or panicking as the train pulls into the station while you’re still in queue to by your ticket.

Or nervously fumbling through your wallet or purse to find your ticket or cash as an impatient conductor breathes down your neck.

Panic no more fellow commuter, your savior is here.

Using MyTix is as simple as creating an account and inputting a few data fields.

Last week, I found myself without my monthly pass, so I opened the app on my way to the train.

A few clicks later and I had purchased my ticket.

No fuss no muss.

MyTix ticket to Montcleezy

One way MyTix ticket to Montclair. Note the “expires” countdown clock.

Now there are a few wrinkles with the app.

You’ve got to activate your pass before your board the train.

If you don’t you may not be able to access your ticket on the train (if no signal is present).

And once you do, you’ve got 2 hours and 45 minutes to use it.

So don’t activate your ticket if you don’t plan on getting on a train immediately or you’ll be ass out.

And the app is just for buying tickets.

You can’t get schedule information or anything else, so don’t get gassed thinking it’s the be-all-end-all for your commute.

It’s not.

Currently the app supports purchasing senior, adult or child one-way or round trip tickets, as well as weekly and monthly passes.

MyTix is only available on select lines, for now, but NJ Transit plans on expanding the utility throughout their service areas.

Now if you’re not in Jersey, don’t take NJ Transit or are not on one of the supported lines, you can ignore this post entirely.

But if you are, this app is a life money saver!

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “NJ Transit’s MyTix app saved my ass (and some bread)!

  1. Kim

    Thank you for good information about nj transit and Mytix 🙂 But I just have some questions to ask about the Mytix app, if you know about that. I’m planning to travel to ny and nj. My hostel is in the ny, so when I wanna go to the nj from ny, I have to take a nj transit train(Northeast corridor line). But, when I make a reservation of rail ticket via Mytix app, screen is pass to payment screen immediately after choosing the depart/destination station. There’s no process to choosing any date/time/seat floor/seat number. Is it natural that there’s no process to choosing options, so I can take a train on any date/time/seat?? Or not, I should paid before choosing these option? Cause round trip ticket is not refundable, I can’t easily pay for tickets. If you know and reply about that, I’d appriciate your kindness and information.
    Have a good day 🙂

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  2. Joseph

    Is the tuesday oct 29th the day you bought the ticket or activated it?

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  3. Do you have any experience using MyTix to transfer from AirTrain to NJT? For regular paper tickets, you would have to insert the ticket at fare gate to get to AirTrain or vice versa. I mainly use NJT to get to EWR. 🙂

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    • Wes, yes I do, but it wasn’t positive. I actually tried to use my MyTix monthly ticket from Montclair to New York at the Airtran and was directed to purchase a ticket for the AirTrain to the terminal from the vending machine when I got to the gate. I imagine that there is a way to validate an e-Ticket (perhaps with the agents at the gates), but I haven’t successfully completed a trip to the airport with MyTix.

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      • I see! Thanks for your feedback. When I get more time, I’ll try MyTix for AirTrain. For the time being, I’ll just stick with purchasing the traditional tickets. Thanks again.

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  4. As of Dec 28 the app on Android doesn’t seem to be working. I’m sure they will work out the kinks, but better have a back up paper ticket until it becomes more reliable.

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    • Looks like today Dec 29 2013, the mytix app is working again. On Dec 28 I, and according to twitter, many other people were not able to use it.

      There is the potential for mis-use, for example I could get into NYC from Rahway, do a quick job and get back on the train before my one way ticket expires in 2.75 hours.

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      • Dave, thanks for the information and feedback. I’ve taken to purchasing my monthly pass via MyTix and haven’t had any issues. For the one time user, there is certainly that loophole, but it’s no different than if the conductor doesn’t get to your car before you get to your stop and you’ve purchased a paper ticket. You’re still going to have a free ride, without the ticking time bomb of terminating that activated ticket if it isn’t used.

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    • Dave, I’ve got an iPhone, so I am unversed in the ways of the Android users, but thanks for the info. The conductors should be prepared to assist customers who experience issues with the app, but as they always say, be sure to activate your ticket before boarding the train. If you board and you’re app crashes or doesn’t pull up the ticket, there should definitely be a fall back the customer can avail to avoid having to purchase a ticket on board.

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  5. Every try making a network connection while going through the Hudson River tunnel. Unless you are on Verizon, you got no cell service and would not be able to activate the ticket. Also cell service drops in and out while on the train. They don’t want the conductor held up while you fiddle trying to get the ticket up on the screen.
    Thank you for writing this post. As a service technician I ride the train all over the NJ and this app will certainly be very helpful.

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    • Per one of my responses, you’re supposed to activate your ticket before you board the train, specifically so that you avoid any issues accessing it when the conductors come around. If you’ve activated it, then the ticket shows up regardless of whether there is a signal (I think it’s stored in a cache) versus requiring an active internet connection.

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  6. Jon

    This app benefits NJTransit quite a bit and not just for the most obvious reasons. Many times on my way out of NY Penn Station, the train will be so overcrowded that it’s simply impossible for the conductor to make his way down the aisle and collect tickets. This isn’t that big a deal for monthly customers, who’ve already paid. However, for single ride customers, that counts as lost revenue as they’ll be able to use that ticket on another ride. This, I believe, is the main reason NJ Transit insists you activate the ticket before you board the train. Personally, I’m going to wait until the conductor is clearly collecting tickets before I activate.

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    • Jon, thanks for the input. I think that NJ Transit definitely calculated the costs and benefits of electronic ticketing and determined that the benefits outweigh the costs. As the world is increasingly digital, failing to adopt a more streamlined way for user to purchase tickets without having to wait in long lines and/or be penalized when they are unable to get a ticket and board without having purchased one, means disgruntled customers and potentially lost revenue. The requirement that you activate your ticket before boarding the train is two-fold. 1. It ensures that riders aren’t getting a free ride and 2. It ensures that if you’re on the train and can’t access a signal, you can prove that you actually bought one.

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