PORTLAND -- TriMet passengers may be able to purchase tickets via their mobile phones by spring of 2013, eliminating the need for paper tickets.

The agency has signed a contract with local company GlobeSherpa to test its TransitSherpa ticketing system. Testing will continue through the winter, with the potential launch in spring.

TriMet may ask riders to test a Beta version of the app in January.

Smartphone applications that leverage open data have transformed the transit sector. We re taking that innovation even further by allowing users to buy tickets, with no exact change or ticket vending machines required, said Nat Parker, CEO of GlobeSherpa.

The GlobeSherpa Ticket Operation Management System will allow single and multiple-ticket purchases with the iPhone and Android app. The user submits debit/credit card information to a secure system.

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