Information published on 15 May 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 292.

USA: Amtrak uses iPhone as an electronic ticket scanner

Amtrak, the US intercity passenger rail operator, has found a new use for Apple’s iPhone. The corporation, which has more than 20,000 employees, began issuing iPhones to train conductors last November. By late this summer, the company plans to have a total of 1,700 conductors using iPhones to scan tickets across the country.

With the new system, passengers will be able to print their own tickets or load a special barcode on their smartphone screens for conductors to scan.

Amtrak’s customer software will not only allow conductors to scan tickets but will also inform them if a disabled passenger is getting off at a particular stop so that train staff can be prepared.

The application will also allow conductors to report equipment failures, such as a malfunctioning toilet, to mechanics.

(Source: NY Times)