July 4, 2012

E-boarding Pass Pilot: All Aboard!

As of July 3rd, Phase 2 of VIA’s On Train and Station Automation (OTS) project is in full launch mode!

If you book travel between Montreal and Quebec anytime after the 3rd of July, you will now receive an e-boarding pass by email, which can be printed at home, or used directly from your smartphone (all platforms are supported). No paper needed!

In short, you can now bypass ticket office and go directly to your gate on your date of departure.

Your e-boarding pass (either printed or on your smartphone) will be scanned by trained employees both at the boarding gate as well as on board the train.

VIA staff will now be equipped with a Blackberry and scanner, which are  linked to VIA’s central reservation system. When scanned, the boarding pass will be validated and the passenger’s name added to the “virtual” list of passengers travelling on that train.

This is both a more efficient and reliable way of updating the passenger list. It also means that other departments can have access to the real-time information. Staff will know, at a glance, how many seats are still available on the train (for any stand-by passengers), or if any ticket holders are missing (announcements can be made). They will also have the most up-to-date information about passenger service requests such as meal choices and train connections, which will improve the quality of customer service, something we take very seriously at VIA.

Exciting to note is the fact that the Blackberry and scanner work wirelessly, which is quite revolutionary. Most validation systems, such as you see at airports, are stationary and plugged in. Having a wireless system means that tickets can be validated en route, anywhere and at any time, making it ideal for people in the remote communities that VIA Rail serves.

“This is the next step in VIA’s Transformation,” explains Chad McLarnon, Manager, Business Solutions for VIA, “the aim of which is to provide the best tools to our employees, improve service to passengers and offer more convenient options to purchase tickets. I am excited to see this project launch and am very grateful to all the dedicated employees who helped make this project a reality.”

If everything runs smoothly with the pilot, the service area will extend to whole Windsor – Québec City corridor in August of this year.

To read more about VIA`s Billion-Dollar transformation, you can visit the main page of our site, where new articles, images and videos are added weekly!