Not all travel annoyances are inevitable — Amtrak could change its boarding system

I’ve made hundreds of trips on Amtrak in the Northeastern corridor — primarily between NYC and DC. One of the inevitable annoyances at the beginning of each journey is the scrum at the top of the escalator or stairs down to the platform, Only after the gate is determined by the routing team and announced, does the crowd dash over to the sole agent who checks tickets (presumably for security reasons, altho that is laughable). It takes time for everyone to press up against each other, narrow down to single file, get checked, and get to the platform. This happens only in major terminals such as Union Station in DC and Penn Station in NYC.

This article touts the benefits of checking the passengers’ bona fides earlier and letting them down to line the platform which would improve the speed of loading everyone on the train. Amtrak has noted that it speeds restocking and staff changes not to have passengers already present. Amtrak is happy to let the passengers on the platforms at interim stations where those tasks don’t exist.

Altho ordinarily I’m all in favor of anything that speeds transportation along (my favorite being the Arro app when using cabs) but I think the criticism of Amtrak is a bit excessive. It’s worth investigating tho. Anything that reduces transit time and hassle is worth doing.

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