Starting now, Amtrak City of New Orleans passengers can make reservations and receive their electronic tickets from the comfort of their home or office. This is the first Midwest expansion of the Amtrak eTicketing project that began in November 2011 and will be nationwide this summer.
The eTicketing program provides passengers increased flexibility when making or changing reservations and eliminates the need to obtain traditional paper value tickets.
Passengers, whose eTickets will be e-mailed in a PDF format, will now also be able to use their smartphone to present their eTicket to the conductor by simply opening the eTicket PDF document from their e-mail and displaying the barcode for the conductor to scan.
If a customer misplaces their eTicket, they can reprint the document for presentation on-board. Passengers can also print their eTickets at Amtrak ticket offices and Quik-Trak kiosks.
Although the portion of this route between Chicago and Carbondale, Ill., is also served by the Illini & Saluki (Trains 390-393), only the City of New Orleans, the early morning northbound to Chicago (Train 58) and the mid-evening southbound from Chicago (Train 59) accepts eTickets at this time.
Last year, 233,318 passengers rode the historic New Orleans-Chicago route, via Jackson, Miss., and Memphis, an increase of two percent from the previous fiscal year.
To meet this summer’s goal for a nationwide eTicketing launch, Amtrak has started to train its 1,700 conductors. During this transition period, passengers may see conductors using the eTicketing Mobile
Device. Conductors will still collect and punch traditional paper tickets, and scanning these will allow conductors to become familiar with the eTicketing mobile equipment.
With the introduction of this new eTicketing capability for customers, Amtrak has also garnered industry recognition by earning a spot on the 2011 Information Week 500 list of top technology innovators across America. This
prestigious award recognizes Amtrak’s innovative use of this mobile technology and how it enhances the customer’s travel experience and ability for Amtrak employees to deliver a higher level of safety and customer service.