May 9, 2012

Amtrak expands eTicketing to Heartland Flyer

Amtrak began eTicketing on the Heartland Flyer, which operates daily in Oklahoma and Texas. Passengers can now make reservations and print their electronic tickets from home or the office.

The eTicketing program provides passengers increased flexibility when making or changing reservations and eliminates the need to obtain traditional paper tickets. Passengers will now have the ability to print their eTickets themselves. A receipt will be e-mailed to the passenger with the eTicket attached as a printable document. Those passengers using their smart phones can also present their eTicket to the conductor by simply opening the eTicket document from their e-mail to display the barcode for scanning. If a customer misplaces their eTicket, they can reprint the document to present onboard.

Passengers can also print the eTickets at Amtrak ticket office in Fort Worth and Quik-Trak kiosks in Fort Worth and Oklahoma City.

Conversion to eTicketing is a significant benefit to Heartland Flyer passengers, since on-site provision of a traditional paper ticket at a ticket office has only been possible on this route at Fort Worth and at the Quik-Trak kiosks, according to Amtrak.

The Amtrak eTicketing project began in November 2011 on the Amtrak Downeaster service (Boston – Portland, Maine). The spring has seen the successful piloting of eTicketing on the City of New Orleans, Capitol Corridor and San Joaquin trains.

To meet this summer’s goal for a nationwide eTicketing launch, Amtrak is now in process of training its approximately 1,700 conductors. During this transition period, passengers can see conductors using the eTicketing Mobile Device on trains throughout the national Amtrak network. Conductors will still collect and punch traditional paper tickets, and scanning these will allow conductors to become more familiar with the eTicketing equipment.

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