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Train Tickets on Your Mobile Phone? Chiltern Railways is Checking it Out

TrainFor ages we’ve been printing our airline boarding passes from the office or the hotel business center. Chiltern, a progressive railway in England, has been allowing customers the option to print tickets for their Birmingham to London routes in the same manner. Now Chiltern is stepping it up a notch with mobile text message ticketing.

Using this system, electronic tickets will be sent to passenger’s mobile phones. The message will contain a barcode, which will be scanned as a ticket at the gate. The only drawback is that tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours in advance. No last minute deals here.

In addition to RECEIVING electronic tickets, Chiltern plans to make the PURCHASE of tickets available by mobile device in the future.

At the end of this year, Chiltern will test the new system with the hopes of making it permanent. This would revolutionize ticketing in every transportation market in the world. In fact, it has the potential of changing the way we get in to movies, concerts and events as well. I really hope it works.

Why do we love this? Well, first of all it’s cool. But it also allows passengers to travel without the necessity of keeping up with tickets. How many times have you checked and double-checked to make sure you have your tickets or boarding pass? Lots, I’m sure. But I bet you always know where to find your cell phone. Also, this is spot-on with the initiatives to make business travel greener. Combine Chiltern’s paperless tickets with the fuel-cell trains and you’re headed in the right direction.