Amtrak

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team
Category

Description of App

Discover the convenience of traveling with Amtrak. With the Amtrak app you can you can get simple and intuitive access to all the travel information you need, whenever you need it. • Book one-way and roundtrip tickets • Check train status • Search for station information • Show your eTicket while onboard • Save trip information to your phone calendar • Load your eTicket into Passbook™ • And so much more All this, without the hassle of your laptop, making calls or printing your ticket. For help or feedback on the Amtrak app, go to amtrak.com/contact-us

Version

2.0

Free or Paid

Free

Apple Watch Support

Not Known

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

Accessibility Comments

The Amtrak app has some accessibility issues, particularly in terms of unlabeled buttons in the reservation booking area of the app. Parts of the app, including the train status feature, are very usable however.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

Few buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

There are some accessibility issues with this app, but it can still be used if you are willing to tolerate these issues and learn how to work around them.

Other Comments

This app is very useful for checking train status. However, for booking trips, I would still recommend using the main Amtrak website or calling a reservations agent.

Developer's Twitter Username

@Amtrak

Recommendations

0 people have recommended this app

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Comments

Submitted by Chris Foster on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I agree with the initial reviewer's findings. There are certainly portions of the app that are useable. However, because so much of travel planning and train checking depends on submiting date information, the app grinds to a halt as a blind person cannot select dates from the application. I have submited comments on the general Amtrak online comment form, but have received no substantive response. I just spoke with a reservation agent to try to get some help. She submited an email to their tech department on my behalf through her system but had no external email address that she could give me. She gave me a corporate number in Washington D.C. that she encourages me to try. If I meet with any kind of success or problems, I'll post more on this and share the number with Applevis users.

The D.C. number mentioned in a previous comment rang through to someone's voicemail who didn't identify themselves as directly working for Amtrak. I did leave a message just to see what happens. I also submited another contact form on Amtrak.com and the contents of my message is below: Dear Amtrak, I am writing to comment on the iPhone app that Amtrak has been heavily advertising for the last several months or so. Of course, to have the power of Amtrak at your fingertips, wherever you go is just fantastic. However, this power is not being extended to blind travelers on Amtrak. Many blind people today are availing themselves of Apple's iOS devices because of their built-in screen reading technologies. However, the Amtrak iPhone app only works part of the way with Apple's screen reading program called Voiceover. One very big problem is that when using Voiceover, a blind user is unable to select dates from the virtual calendar. This means that they are unable to check the status of a future train, book future travel, etc. I would really encourage Amtrak's technical department to do the research necessary to make the appropriate changes in a future update of the iPhone app. One great starting off place for app developers is the web site called applevis.com There, developers can find numerous links to tools and instructions on how they can make new as well as existing apps accessible using Voiceover. Please feel free to contact me with questions or for further assistance. Regards, Chris Foster

Submitted by Chris Foster on Monday, March 26, 2012

Of late, I have been using Amtrak quite a bit. Whenever I am on hold on the 800 number, I am constantly peppered with voice announcements telling how great the Amtrak app for the iPhone is. Of course, readers on this app entry know that the vertual calendar makes this untrue for blind users. Yesterday/this morning, I got in to a twitter conversation with Amtrak and I thought I'd post it below. Amtrak: Got an iPhone and want convenient updates about Amtrak? Done. Our iPhone app is free from the app store! http://t.co/2rxIQJgY Me: again, it is currently not accessible to blind users through VoiceOver. Fix it and I'll scream for joy! And no need to encourage me to contact customer service. I've tried this numerous times with no success. Time to turn it up a bit. Amtrak: Thanks for your comments. We have forwarded them to the appropriate department. Me: Fantastic! Thanks very much for helping out with the process. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Currently, I am traveling. However, when I get home, I will contact a couple of people at Amtrak's corporate offices and see what we can accomplish here. We know what we can do with Starbucks, so let's se where this will take us.

It seems the folks at Amtrak have chosen to continue use of the same inaccessible date picker in today's update to the App. This makes it difficult or impossible to use the following three critical functions: "Buy Tickets," "Train Status," and "Schedules." These all contain date fields that all rely on a popup calendar that is mostly invisible to VO, and it does not seem possible to modify these date fields by another means such as by typing the date directly from the keyboard. Tested on ATT iPhone 4S, IOS 5.1.1, Amtrak App v1.0.6.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Monday, September 24, 2012

Amtrak released version 1.2 today, 24 Sept 2012, and though the release notes don't mention changes to accessibility, I think they have indeed fixed the long-standing issue of the date pickers / calendars being invisible to VO. As far as I can tell, the date picker is now fully accessible using VO. I was able to look up schedules, check train status, and start the process of buying tickets. Sorry, I have no tickets to buy at this time, so hopefully someone else will chime in and confirm whether the purchase process can be completed. Tested on ATT iPhone 4S, IOS 6, Amtrak App version 1.2.

Submitted by AnonyMouse on Friday, November 2, 2012

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

It now offers PassBook!
 
What's New in Version 1.3

 

Passbook support!

 

From the integrated eTicket screen you select the action button to add it to Passbook. Passbook eTickets can be shown and scanned by conductors onboard Amtrak trains nationwide.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In reply to by AnonyMouse

I was doing some checking for a possible trip I might take in a couple weeks. When I tried to select a date on the calendar, VO indicated in the date field that the actual selected date was one week prior. I confirmed this by trying a date 1 week after my intended day of travel, and sure enough...my correct day of travel was selected.

What's New in Version v1.4 Numerous bug fixes and performance improvements. During purchase, customers can request to be notified if their train is running late. Future releases will include improved train status and station information along with iPhone 5 support.

Submitted by thom3of5 on Sunday, April 7, 2013

There are some great things with this app. However, here are some comments that my help my fellow blind users. I've traveled with Amtrak recently. Being blind, Amtrak gives us a special rate. The reservation had to be done over the phone to get this special rate. When I received my reservation number, I tried entering it into the Amtrak app. It didn't recognize it, since I didn't use the app, or book the reservation online. I did use the app to track when my train was to arrive in the station. . All in all, there is a lot of good content, but there are some unlabeled buttons, and other voice over issues.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Saturday, June 1, 2013

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In reply to by thom3of5

I just tried to purchase a ticket using the Amtrak app, and I am unable to get past selecting a train. I've both double-tapped and done the passthrough gesture but nothing works...I cannot find a "next" button anyware.

Amtrak version 2.0 is now available. Unfortunately, there are still a number of accessibility issues, especially in the reservation booking area of the app. "What's New in Version 2.0 A major redesign with lots of improvements. • Designed for iOS7 • Ticket purchases now require up to 40% fewer touches • Stability improvements for a more reliable experience"

Submitted by Jim on Monday, June 23, 2014

Has anyone had any issues booking tickets with the latest update? Have we been in contact with @Amtrak to fix issues? Just wondering because I haven't seen anything on here lately.

Submitted by Bryan Jones on Monday, June 23, 2014

It's been a few years since I've felt the need to contact Amtrak about their App, as I had some success using the App after they finally made the date picker accessible a couple of years back; however, this evening I spent a few hours attempting to book some round-trip tickets for an upcoming trip and eventually gave up because of accessibility issues. I'll be contacting Amtrak again to let them know what I've found, some of which is listed below.
1. Labeling of buttons and other elements is messy, inconsistent and confusing throughout the App. Every page of the process includes at least one unlabeled button, but most pages include multiple unlabeled and porrly labeled buttons and other elements.
2. On the payment page, it was not possible to determine if I was about to pay for the complete round trip or for a single leg. Only one leg appeared to be listed on this page, but the price was higher than the originally quoted price for that one leg, and there was no obvious way to verify any of this before entering credit card information. This is where I called it a night and quit the App without completing my purchase.

Other notes:
1. While the date and time pickers in version 2.0.3 are still accessible, the calendar used for date selection is less than ideal as it is not smooth to navigate and does not announce the day of the week in conjunction with the date.
2. The process of browsing and searching for stations seems fully VO-accessible in this version.
3. After entering desired locations and times, the resulting list of trains seems fully VO-accessible in this version. The list included the train name, departure and arrival times, and ticket price. Double-tapping a selected train to move to the next step in the process seems to be working again.
4. I cannot overstate just how messy the labeling is in this version of the App. While some VoiceOver Users are able to decipher poorly-labeled buttons and other elements, I think it is a stretch to assume that the average VoiceOver User will have the time, inclination or skill to figure out the difference between buttons labeled "InfoBlue" and "InfoWhite," or the meaning of items labeled, "CheckboxIcoActive, Button, On," "CheckboxIcoActive, Button, Off," "PlusButtonActive, Button" and "MinusButtonActive, Button." Or how 'bout the following list found in the details page for many stations: "WheelchairDimmed, Button, WheelchairDimmed, Button, WheelchairDimmed, Button, WheelchairDimmed, Button, WheelchairDimmed, Button, WheelchairDimmed, Button."

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Tested on iPhone 5S, IOS 7.1.1, Amtrak App version 2.0.3

Submitted by Vash Rein on Monday, June 23, 2014

For those that don't know, Amtrack does provide a 15% discount for disabled amtrack customers. This includes people with visual impairments. I usually call and request the discount and have gotten it for the past 3 years.

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, May 26, 2017

I can't find the actions button to add my ticket to apple wallet. Can someone help? It's the latest version of amtrak, not sure what that is now. Thanks. Never taken them, first time.

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