Steamship Authority to offer eFerry tickets shortly

Soon you can put your commuter and lifeline cards on a smartphone app. - George Brennan

Following a beta test last winter, the Steamship Authority plans to provide eFerry ticket service on all routes and vessels, beginning with the MV Iyanough. Near-field communication technology (NFC) will be employed in the eFerry ticketing system, a first for a domestic ferry operator, according to a press release. The technology contrasts with the barcode scanning systems many other ferry services use, in that a passenger’s device is read blindly. The eFerry ticketing does require an app. 

“You need to add your eFerry ticket to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay app,” according to the SSA website. At the gate to a given ferry, a passenger then just holds out an iPhone, Apple Watch, or Android device, and presto. 

“The eFerry ticket system also will include the ability to load the five-ride Lifeline Card, the 10-ride Ferry Pass and the 46-ride commuter books to a customer’s Apple Wallet or Google Pay,” according to a release. 

SSA board chair Jim Malkin told Dukes County commissioners recently that the ferry line would roll out eFerry service this summer. 

SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll said following the Iyanough, which he anticipates will go live next week, the rest of the fleet will see eFerry tickets “within a month.”


  1. It’s a little silly that it’s taken this long for the SSA to embrace technology. Welcome to the digital world.

  2. We’ve only had smartphones since the mid 2000s…I can’t remember the last time I used a paper ticket flying. Another glaring example of mismanagement of the SSA. Let’s spend millions on capital projects that don’t improve reliability and service and ignore basic trends in the travel industry!

  3. For anyone know if you’ll be able to use the app for multiple users? I’ve been waiting for this for years but it won’t help much if I can’t put my kids’ tickets in the same app/phone as mine.

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