News by Michael Oryl on Monday May 07, 2012.
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It appears that Amtrak, the U.S. government owned passenger train system, is about to give up the venerable ticket puncher for a fancy new iPhone scanning system. Starting this summer, 1,700 conductors will use new iPhones that are equipped with special cases that include an extended battery and scanner to scan customer tickets instead of punching and collecting paper tickets.
In addition to making it easier for conductors to track customers and empty seats, the system will allow conductors to coordinate with drivers and maintenance staff, and also will allow passengers to use smartphone barcodes instead of paper tickets. Customers will also gain the ability to make changes to tickets without having to print out new documents.
Amtrak told the New York Times that the entire system cost it $7.5 million, $5.5 million of which was needed for software research and development. Amtrak only has an iPhone app available now, but has plans for an Android application to be available by early fall, according to the Times.source: New York Times