Amtrak to deploy Apple iPhones as electronic ticket scanners to streamline service

“Old-school train conductors are finally ready to give up their hole punchers to try something new: the iPhone,” Brian X. Chen reports for The New York Times.

“Amtrak, the government-owned corporation that oversees the nation’s railroad train services, has been training conductors since November to use the Apple handset as an electronic ticket scanner on a few routes, including from Boston to Portland, Me., and San Jose, Calif., to Sacramento,” Chen reports. “By late summer, 1,700 conductors will be using the devices on Amtrak trains across the country, the company said.”

Chen reports, “With the new system, passengers will be able to print tickets or load a special bar code on their smartphone screens for conductors to scan, and conductors will be able to keep track of passengers on board, Amtrak said… A digitized check-in process for trains seems long overdue in a world of online concert tickets and flight reservations. But the industry faces a particular challenge in that passengers hop on and off at different platforms at different times, unlike at an airport, where people check in at one gateway to board a flight, and then stay there until the flight arrives.”

Chen reports, “Amtrak joins a growing number of businesses that are using mobile devices to improve operations. Some pilots are using iPads to replace flight manuals in the cockpit, a few police departments are experimenting with using iPhones to identify suspects, and doctors are using iPads to access patient records and X-ray charts.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Amtrak joins a growing number of businesses that are using Appel iPhones and iPads to improve operations. Which, of course, is why Wall Street currently values Apple’s earnings growth at $0.00.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dale Eckerman” for the heads up.]

4 Comments

  1. Amtrak is the most abysmal customer services experience in transportation – at least in New York City. The only thing iPads being deployed by Amtrak can do for the Apple brand is tarnish it.

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