Boston commuters now have the option of using their smartphones to purchase tickets for the city’s rail lines and display the ticket’s bar code to rail conductors for scanning.

Commuters on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority rail lines on routes north and west of the city this week began using a mobile-pay system developed by Masabi U.S. Ltd., the rail authority says.

Masabi U.S., a division of London-based Masabi, created the new mTicket application for Apple Inc. iPhones and Google Inc. Android devices through its JustRide mobile ticketing system, allowing commuters to purchase tickets from any location.

Masabi and MBTA intend to expand the mobile pay and ticketing system to other commuter lines in the coming months.

"With this new application, commuter rail users don't have to wait in line to purchase tickets nor pay a surcharge for buying tickets aboard trains,” acting MBTA general manager Jonathan Davis said in a press release.

According to the MBTA, less than half of its 140 commuter rail stations have fare vending machines, meaning customers must buy tickets on board.

In addition to helping commuters avoid on-board surcharges, the MBTA views the mobile payment system as a way to potentially avoid installing more ticket vending machines at stations.

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