Thursday, May 10, 2012

New Amtrak Ticket System To Use iPhone of Apple

Amtrak iPhone
Amtrak iPhone
(Image Credit:

The level of integration of Apple devices has reached the point where the iPhone is now being used as an electronic ticket scanner by Amtrak in selected Amtrak routes.

Some train conductors were issued an iPhone by Amtrak to use as an electronic ticket scanner as it paves the way towards the gradual death of the traditional hole-punched train tickets.

Last November saw the start of a program where train conductors were trained in using the iPhone in scanning train tickets that have a special barcode. Not only will it facilitate the work of train conductors it will also make it easier to monitor the number of passengers inside the train compared to the traditional hole-punch system. The iPhone-based ticketing system will start with a limited number of Amtrak route before expanding to around 1,700 train conductors in the United States sometime in the later part of the summer.

According to the sales distribution head of Amtrak, Matt Hardison, it will make it unnecessary to print out documents that will be brought into the train since a number of significant enhancements were made to facilitate the work of the conductors and reduce the hassle among commuters.

The iPhone-based system shows the modernization in the Amtrak system as it will minimize errors while improving efficiency among train conductors compared to the conventional hole-punching method.

The iPhones that are used by the Amtrak conductors feature a specially-designed scanner and an application that will monitor the passengers of the train. Alerts will also be sent to personnel whenever disabled individuals would require assistance as well as send any maintenance needs to mechanics whenever necessary.

Customers will also benefit from the new iPhone-based system since they will be able to make changes in their reservations whenever they need it without having to line up in ticketing windows. The new iPhone-based ticketing system cost around $7.5 million for its implementation which included around $5.5 million for the development of the software application.

For the moment, the ticketing system is limited to the iPhone although an Android version is reportedly being developed and is set to become available by fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment