Tag Archives: amtrak

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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Geeks on a train

If you ever have a chance to geek-out, don’t hesitate to take it. There is nothing greater, no more pure joy than that.

Ok, maybe there is romance and you’re child being born, but we are talking about geeks here.

Andrew Garfield in his own Spider-Man costume (w/ fanny pack) at the 2011 Comic Con in San Diego

I revel in these moments and seek them out, like the recent Harry Potter opening night, yeah it was so wizard.

  • The upcoming iPhone 5 release…already making plans to camp-out at Apple.
  • Obsessing over the upcoming Hobbit movie.
  • Even, waking up at 7 am with the dawn patrol to watch the early heats at the US Open of Surfing.

I am the king of geek moments. You will rarely find me in the VIP line or at the trendy spot but every geek moment I own.

Comic Con is definitely one of those moments with so much to enjoy like reading Jon Favreau’s movie premiere diaries, Snow White battles, and the release of new Spider-Man/Batman flicks.

So, if you’re just dying to attend you have to do this: Geeks on a train.

“Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner makes the 128-mile journey from Los Angeles to San Diego in two hours and 45 minutes…Fifty-one weeks a year, the train takes vacationers south to Sea World or north to Universal Studios. For one weekend in July, though, boarding the Pacific Surfliner is as close as you can come to climbing into the Hogwarts Express at Kings Cross Platform 9¾.”

Then you get on the train…

“This is the first moment you know you’re among your people. What’s bulging in that duffel bag over there? An elvish sword? A Klingon bat’leth? Look at the reading material: comics, manga, graphic novels, a stolen superhero movie screenplay” – click to keep reading the full story by Big Bang Theory’s co-creator.

It sounds like geek dream heaven to me. If things work out next year I will be on this train and I hope to see you there.