Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Stupid Boarding Systems

Philadelphia, at least, recently stopped checking tickets in the boarding lines. People still line up mostly pointlessly, but the removal of the ticket check at least speeds things up.

Yet curiously, even though the big advantage of this boarding method is how quickly it allows large numbers of people to get on and off, it is not how Amtrak boards trains at its busiest stations — New York Penn Station and Washington Union Station.

In DC, passengers are subjected to an airline-style queuing system where everyone needs to get their tickets checked as they pass through a single gate. This routinely produces overcrowding and confusion inside the station and slows the entire process down.

And most strikingly of all, nobody at Amtrak can explain why they do it this way.