Thursday, June 07, 2012

Amtrak awarded IT award for its eTicketing program

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IDG's CIO magazine awarded Amtrak the 2012 CIO 100 for its eTicketing program as an innovative business technology application. The 25th annual award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology.

"For 25 years now, the CIO 100 awards have honored the innovative use of technology to deliver genuine business value," said Maryfran Johnson, editor in chief of CIO magazine and events. "Our 2012 winners are an outstanding example of the transformative power of IT to drive everything from revenue growth to competitive advantage."

"We are pleased to be selected and recognized as one of the CIO 100 award honorees. The Amtrak eTicketing initiative demonstrates our commitment to innovation and use of mobile technology to capture customer-focused business opportunities to transform the on-board environment," said Dee Waddell, Amtrak acting chief information officer.

Amtrak developed its eTicketing technology to enhance the passenger travel experience, deliver a higher level of safety and customer service and improve business and financial performance.

A benefit of the Amtrak eTicketing program is onboard customer ticket validation from print-at-home documents or from barcodes presented on mobile devices which will eliminate the time intensive manual processing of paper tickets. It also automates onboard passenger manifests to have more accurate knowledge of who is on the train to improve the safety and security of passengers, allows the seats of ‘no show' passengers to be resold down the line and provides for en route reporting of equipment problems such as a broken seat, which may result in quicker turnaround times as mechanical crews can be prepared to fix the problem when the trains arrives. Passenger benefits of eTicketing include convenience and enhanced self-service in making and modifying reservations, plus lost tickets will no longer be an issue.

The rollout of eTicketing began in November 2011 on the Amtrak Downeaster service (Boston - Portland, Maine) and was extended in spring 2012 to City of New Orleans (Chicago - New Orleans), Capitol Corridor (San Jose - Oakland - Sacramento - Auburn), San Joaquin (Sacramento - Oakland - Bakersfield) and Heartland Flyer (Ft. Worth - Oklahoma City) trains. Amtrak anticipates launching eTicketing on all remaining trains in its national network during the summer of 2012.

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