Steamship Authority begins eFerry ticketing

Both the Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard SSA routes will feature contactless ticketing options. —File photo Courtesy Carl Treyz

The Steamship Authority announced the start of eFerry contactless ticketing on Wednesday. The rollout is about two months behind when SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll estimated it would launch. The wireless ticketing system will be available on both the Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket routes.

“Today’s launch on both the Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard ferry routes comes after a successful deployment of the eFerry tickets on the high-speed ferry service to Nantucket in 2019,” a release states. “Since then, the Steamship Authority has worked with Pronto CX to develop an intuitive and responsive mobile web app to allow customers to pay for their traditional ferry tickets using their Apple Pay or Google Wallet mobile payment methods, or by using a debit or credit card.”

Via the release, SSA general manager Robert Davis said he “could not be more pleased” with the rollout. Among other benefits, Davis described the system as “being one less touchpoint in the travel purchase process — an improvement that cannot be understated in the age of COVID-19.”

Customers can use Apple Wallet and Google Pay to effect an eFerry transaction. “As with the high-speed ferry tickets, customers redeem their tickets by loading them to their Apple Wallet or Google Pay prior to arriving at the terminal, and holding their iPhone, Apple Watch, or Android device near a ticket scanner to board the ferry,” a release states. “Unlike the fast ferry tickets, which still need to be purchased via a reservation made on the Authority’s website, the traditional ferry tickets can be purchased on the web without having to log in to an account. Customers can simply choose their route, their fare, and the number of tickets before paying. Within seconds, the tickets are then loaded to the customer’s Apple Wallet or Google Pay, and are ready to be redeemed at the terminal.”

The SSA eventually hopes to offer the ability to load multiride cards, like the five-ride Lifeline Card, the 10-ride Ferry Pass Card, and the 46-ride commuter books, into a passenger’s Apple Wallet or Google Pay.