The holiday season usually means traveling to see friends and family and Amtrak wants to help make the journey safe during the pandemic. Passengers can now stay on track by selecting trains with the fewest occupants to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19, according to a company announcement Thursday.
According to Fox Business, Amtrak will post real-time availability of seats on its website and mobile app. It will show the percentage of seats sold compared to seat capacity. The railroad service will also allow solo passengers to place personal items on the seat beside them to increase social distancing.
“Prioritizing health and safety, we continue to provide customers with new, innovative measures that promote physical distancing and contactless travel,” said Bill Flynn, Amtrak president and CEO, according to Fox Business. The new app will allow passengers to check their departure gate and track information to prevent crowding. Amtrak has also partnered with Lysol to help reinforce disinfection protocols, according to its website.
Trains have been deemed a safer way to travel than airplanes because the boarding platforms are outdoors and there are several doors to enter. Amtrak has no middle seats, so once you are on board it may be easier to socially distance from your neighbor, according to Forbes.
Amtrak coaches also change the air 12 to 15 times per hour, according to Jim Mathews, president and CEO of the Rail Passengers Association in Washington, D.C., faster than you can say, “All aboard!”
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