Amtrak switches to iPhone scanners for conductors and apps for customers

Old-school train conductors are finally ready to give up their hole punchers to try something new: the iPhone.

Amtrak 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.

By late summer, 1,700 conductors will be using the devices on Amtrak trains across the country, the company said.

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.

“You don’t even need to print the document and bring it with you,” said Matt Hardison, chief of sales distribution at Amtrak, who helped plan the iPhone program. “We’ve made a number of important improvements for both our customers and Amtrak, all in one fell swoop.”

keep readingN.Y. Times – Amtrak Enlists iPhones as a Service Tool


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