Good news for frequent train travelers: Amtrak is joining us in the 21st century by implementing iPhones as a scanning tool.
Brian X. Chen, NY Times:
[quote]Amtrak, the government-owned corporation that oversees the nation’s railroad train services, 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.[/quote]
Last year, I did a lot of flying, and some airlines allow you to do electronic ticketing with your portable device. Whenever I could I took advantage of it. Printing tickets and keeping them with you is particularly a pain in the ass when you’re hopping from airport to airport or when you’re making travel arrangements on the go. Knowing that you’ll always have your ticket with you on your device is certainly reassuring. This is a big step forward, and it would be nice if more aspects of society would get on the smartphone bandwagon. I’m still waiting to be able to purchase my diet coke from a vending machine with an app. Rabble rabble, flying cars, et cetera.