Thursday, November 3, 2011

Amtrak tests eTicketing in Northeast

Not in Portland Oregon, but the other Portland. Starting today Amtrak is testing out a new eTicketing program. You will be able to print off your ticket from home and simply take it aboard the train. The conductor will then scan it to mark it redeemed. What makes this even better, this will work with smartphones. You will be able to pull it up (much like Groupon offers) and it can be scanned and redeemed right there with no paperwork at all. Another upside for those forgetfuls, if you lose or misplace the eTicket, you can print another one, unlike paper tickets which are just like cash. Currently this is being tested on the Downeaster line between Boston and Portland ME.

Some details about eTicketing, It can not be used with Multi-Ride tickets, Monthly Passes, Group Tickets, onboard purchases and tickets issued by anyone except Amtrak (i.e. travel agency). Currently any itinerary with travel off the Downeaster line can not use this program yet, unless you purchase the tickets separately from your other travel plans. If all goes well, Amtrak hopes to roll this out across the system in 2012. Another agency joining the paperless revolution. I myself have a smartphone, and its very nice to be able to pull up coupons and paperwork on your phone for viewing or redeeming. Soon, with the recent introduction of mobile boarding passes on some airlines, travel is becoming almost paperless.