Amtrak Expands eTicket Offering
WASHINGTON – Electronic tickets are now accepted on every Amtrak train.
Amtrak Monday announced it’s launching its eTicket program to all trains within its national network including on the Northeast Corridor, state-supported routes and long-distance services. eTickets provide passengers with the convenience to skip the line at the ticket window and go straight to the gate by printing their tickets whenever, wherever or by using a smartphone to present the eTicket to the conductor.
President and CEO Joe Boardman said eTickets also allow passengers increased flexibility to make or change reservations.
“eTickets deliver the convenience and flexibility expected by passengers and its innovative technology is transforming other aspects of how Amtrak does business,” said Boardman, in a media release.
Amtrak piloted eTickets on five routes before today’s national rollout where it quickly exceeded expectations as rapid adoption by passengers resulted in shorter lines at ticket counters, fewer tickets sold onboard trains and fewer claims of lost tickets.
When a customer makes a reservation, the eTicket will be e-mailed as a printable document. Passengers using their smartphone or other mobile device can present the eTicket to the conductor by simply opening the document from their e-mail. A lost or misplaced eTicket can easily be reprinted. eTickets also can be printed at Amtrak ticket offices and Quik-Trak(tm) kiosks. Some customers, including those traveling on a group ticket or passengers purchasing Multi-Ride tickets, will continue to receive a conventional paper value ticket.
“eTicketing is a convenient, flexible service for passengers on all three Amtrak routes in Michigan,” said Timothy Hoeffner, Director, Office of Rail, Michigan Department of Transportation, in a statement. ”Our customers will appreciate the simplified printing and the ability to use a smartphone when purchasing a ticket. We are excited about improved services, including station upgrades, track improvements and now new eTicketing. It’s a great time to use passenger rail services in the Midwest.”
Amtrak says the eTicket technology helps them ti enhance the passenger travel experience, deliver a higher level of safety and customer service, and improve its business and financial performance. The use of eTickets and mobile technology in the open-boarding environment of intercity passenger rail is a revolutionary advancement for an industry that has relied on paper tickets and the traditional conductor ticket punch since the 1800s.
In addition, Amtrak says the eTicket program provides the company with more accurate knowledge in real-time of who is on the train which greatly improves the safety and security of passengers; en route reporting of onboard equipment problems to mechanical crews which may result in faster resolution of the issue; and more efficient financial reporting.