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Amtrak rolls out electronic ticketing for some California routes

April 19, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • E-ticketing is expected to be available by the end of summer for the Pacific Surfliner that runs from San Diego to San Luis Obispo via Los Angeles.
E-ticketing is expected to be available by the end of summer for the Pacific… (Alex Mayes )

E-ticketing on Amtrak has finally arrived — sort of.

As of this week, rail passengers on Northern California routes may print out their train tickets before heading to the station, Amtrak says in a statement. Electronic ticketing is scheduled to be available for Southern California routes such as the Pacific Surfliner and others by the end of summer, though no start date was specified.

Electronic ticketing is now offered for one-way and round-trip travel on the Capitol Corridor (Auburn-Sacramento-Oakland-San Jose) and California San Joaquin (Sacramento-Oakland-Bakersfield) lines. Tickets for connecting travel on thruway buses will be added gradually over the summer.

Passengers may print out tickets at home or at Amtrak ticket offices and Quik-Trak kiosks, or they can flash the ticket's bar code from their smartphones. E-ticketing began last November on the company's Downeaster service (Boston-Portland, Maine) and last month on the City of New Orleans (Chicago-New Orleans).

Amtrak says it's training about 1,700 conductors on how to scan e-tickets with a mobile device. Monthly or multi-ride tickets, however, will continue to be issued as a conventional paper ticket.

Check out these FAQs about Amtrak's new e-tickets.

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