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LIRR: Motivation for customers who buy tix online

LIRR is partnering with CooCoo, a Long Island

LIRR is partnering with CooCoo, a Long Island based technology firm, to bring online tickets to LIRR passengers this summer for The Barclays PGA Tour Event at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale. (July 23, 2012) Credit: Nancy Borowick

If the convenience of printing train tickets at home or downloading them to a mobile phone isn't enough to entice Long Island Rail Road riders to take advantage of the LIRR's newest ticketing system, maybe a free iPad will be.

That's what the railroad was hoping for as it launched a sweepstakes Wednesday for customers who buy train tickets online to get to and from The Barclays PGA golf tournament later this month.

At a news conference at Mineola station Wednesday morning, officials with the LIRR, PGA, and software developer CooCoo announced the contest.

The sweepstakes aims to promote the new mobile ticketing system, developed by CooCoo, that allows riders to print train tickets at home or download them to their phones. LIRR conductors, using a handheld device, scan the tickets to collect fares.

The pilot project will only be available for customers traveling to or from Farmingdale station between Aug. 21 and Aug. 25. The LIRR hopes to eventually offer mobile ticketing throughout its entire system.

"There's no parking at Bethpage State Park for this event, so the best way to get there is the Long Island Rail Road," said LIRR spokesman Joe Calderone, adding that the railroad expects to transport at least a third of 35,000 fans who will attend the tournament. "If you buy online in advance you won't have any hassles, no waiting on line."

Through Aug. 15, LIRR customers automatically enter the sweepstakes by purchasing their train tickets at The grand prize is a new Apple iPad, donated by CooCoo. Other prizes include free tickets to The Barclays golf event at Bethpage State Park, and tickets to "SpiderMan: Turn Off the Dark" on Broadway.

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