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Editorial: MTA train-tickets slowly getting on track

LIRR partnered with CooCoo, a Long Island based

LIRR partnered 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

The Long Island Rail Road has pronounced its recent trial run with tickets printed at home or downloaded to smartphones a success and announced plans to expand the service. Great. It's about time.

The LIRR sold 5,894 mobile tickets to customers traveling to and from Farmingdale recently for the Barclays golf tournament, an innovation its customers reviewed warmly. It will now partner with Metro-North to request proposals from mobile ticketing-device manufacturers and plans to make the tickets available on both commuter railroads by the end of next year. That's two decades behind the airlines, which began offering e-tickets back in the early 1990s, so the railroads aren't exactly on the cutting edge of applied digital technology. But if mobile tickets are finally available next year, riders will likely forget the long wait.