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In Nassau, paying bus fares by smartphone

A NICE bus picks up passengers in Mineola

A NICE bus picks up passengers in Mineola on Oct. 9, 2013. Credit: Chuck Fadely

Nassau County’s bus operator has selected a London-based company to create a new mobile application that will let customers pay fares with their smartphones.

Nassau Inter-County Express, or NICE Bus, announced Tuesday that it signed an agreement with Masabi to bring smartphone ticketing to Long Island. NICE will begin testing the system this spring, and roll it out for all riders in the summer.

The app will allow riders to purchase bus tickets in advance, then activate them as they board by displaying their smartphone screen to a bus operator. NICE officials said that in the future, they could install hardware on buses to allow riders to pay fares by scanning a bar code or holding their mobile device near a sensor.

NICE officials have said they expect the new fare system to be an attractive option for the about 70 percent of their riders who own smartphones.

“This project is one of several recent technology initiatives at NICE bus which will help transform the experience of riding transit in Nassau County,” NICE Chief Executive Officer Michael Setzer said. “We believe our customers will embrace mobile ticketing as they have in other systems around the country.”

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