The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Masabi, a UK vendor, have jointly launched what they claim is the first full commuter rail ticketing system in the US where travellers can use a smartphone app instead of a physical ticket.

Travellers can purchase and display rail tickets and passes using an MBTA app for iPhone and Android smartphones. The tickets are displayed on the phone’s screen as an encrypted barcode as well as a human readable ticket.

Apps are now available in the App Store and Google Play. The partners say BlackBerry devices will be supported soon.

Masabi won the contract to supply the ticketing system to MBTA six months ago. At the time, the companies anticipated a deployment in autumn 2012 so the current announcement is consistent with that timetable.