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Cash Free On-Board - Open Discussion


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#21 jis

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 02:07 PM

I wish they'd start accepting ApplePay and GooglePay and such NFC based payment facilities.

 

These days I simply don't deal with cash except on rare occasions when needed to pay a tip where no other credit card negotiable financial transaction was involved. In the last four or five months I have withdrawn all of maybe $200 in cash for such occasional use.


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#22 railiner

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 02:17 PM

I have been using credit cards to pay for tickets and meals since way back when the Rail Travel Card was the only card accepted (and it wasn't even plastic!).

Nowadays, I carry cards that have no annual fee, and actually give me back anywhere from 2-5% of whatever I purchase.   Since I pay my balance in full each month, I don't care what they charge in interest for carrying a balance.   So I make all purchases I can by card, no matter how small, for everything.   It all adds up to a nice rebate each year. :cool:

 

That said, I still think they should offer a cash option for those who prefer that method, and use other means to eliminate their 'shortage' problem...


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metroblue?

okay on the blue!

#23 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 02:59 PM

 

 

 

Not a fan. I almost always pay cash on board (and get a receipt).

surprise surprise
What is surprising? That I am not a fan of Amtrak limiting their revenue, by no longer accepting cash for payments?
That your always against EVERYTHING. I'm sure you enjoy calling Amtrak using your candlestick phone to make your reservations but some of us don't MIND change.

So you don't mind if Amtrak bans all cash payments but you do mind if people express a preference to continue paying by cash? Is Amtrak's acceptance of currency personally impacting you in some definable way? The only reason I'm against Amtrak supporting Apple/Google pay is because in my experience merchants tend to raise the prices of all sales when they enable fourth party NFC transactions.


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#24 PaulM

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:13 PM

 

Amtrak should move to an on-board cash free environment just as have the airlines. So how say we address the issue, pro and con, here? The Amtrak IG certainly favors it; any of us around here who hold the title CPA, likely also do. I for one, a retired CPA, am all in favor and would not inconvenience me in the least.


You never even bothered to post WHAT the "issue" is or WHY you think banning cash would resolve it, other than to say it wouldn't inconvenience you. If it's about Amtrak staff stealing money from their employer maybe Amtrak should try to weed out the bad apples and stop hiring thieves rather than punishing their customers with fewer options for payment. Paying with plastic certainly has its uses but for me it isn't worth handing 1%-5% of my annual income to some monkey point middleman. Cash isn't perfect but that's no reason to ban it for everyone else just because you don't happen to need it. This post reeks of low effort reasoning.

 

 

I wouldn't state it in the same way, but I agree with you entirely.  Employee steeling is Amtrak's problem.  Although I use the credit card where ever possible (for the points), there is nothing illegal, immoral, unethical, or politically incorrect about using cash.


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#25 Dakota 400

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:22 PM

It makes no difference one way or the other to me.  I will always have some amount of cash with me to take care of incidental expenses where the use of a credit card seems foolish or impossible, i.e. tips to service personnel, buying a newspaper, etc..


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#26 jis

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:23 PM

This whole cash issue is a potentially politically charged one as people experienced in India, when currency notes with the widest circulation were demonetized one fine night without any prior notice, ostensibly in an effort to smoke out so called "Black Money" held in the form of ill begotten cash. It caused a lot of problem for the generally law abiding citizens, and the holders of the illegitimate cash were mostly able to exchange them for the newly issued substitute currency with a little underground help from their friends in the banks. So at the end of it most of the demonetized cash came back to the government and the holders of the illegitimate cash were mostly none the worse for it. They are now just holding illegitimate new currency cash. :) So everyone claimed victory and life goes on. Only the little guy with no friends in banks got screwed. This suggest to me that merely moving away from cash will probably not fix the alleged problem that one is trying to solve, if it is something other than just not having to carry wads of it around in bags that is.

 

Pushing the entire country towards becoming a cashless society is one of the obsessions of the current government, and this in a country where more than a quarter of the economy is not even fully monetized, i.e. uses cash. There is a rather large "Barter Economy" which shows no sign of going away, let along going to monetized cashless economy.


Edited by jis, 05 June 2018 - 03:32 PM.

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#27 seat38a

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:23 PM

 

 

Amtrak should move to an on-board cash free environment just as have the airlines. So how say we address the issue, pro and con, here? The Amtrak IG certainly favors it; any of us around here who hold the title CPA, likely also do. I for one, a retired CPA, am all in favor and would not inconvenience me in the least.


You never even bothered to post WHAT the "issue" is or WHY you think banning cash would resolve it, other than to say it wouldn't inconvenience you. If it's about Amtrak staff stealing money from their employer maybe Amtrak should try to weed out the bad apples and stop hiring thieves rather than punishing their customers with fewer options for payment. Paying with plastic certainly has its uses but for me it isn't worth handing 1%-5% of my annual income to some monkey point middleman. Cash isn't perfect but that's no reason to ban it for everyone else just because you don't happen to need it. This post reeks of low effort reasoning.

 

 

I wouldn't state it in the same way, but I agree with you entirely.  Employee steeling is Amtrak's problem.  Although I use the credit card where ever possible (for the points), there is nothing illegal, immoral, unethical, or politically incorrect about using cash.

 

Yeah did we all forget about the rapist employee that Amtrak could not fire??? What exactly should Amtrak do with their problem employees? Should they be hanged from the nearest tree? Theirs limbs cut off maybe? Hell they can't be fired, so whats the solution to the theft issue???

 

https://www.greatfal...case/892758001/



#28 PVD

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:25 PM

Businesses have lots of good reasons not to handle cash that go well beyond employee theft. Those costs are passed on to you also, and may or may not be more of an issue to a company than the cost of a credit card transaction. 



#29 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:25 PM

If it saves Amtrak money (reducing employee theft, accidental loss, etc.) and it allows for more revenue (letting coach and sleeping attendants sell food and drinks like the airline flight attendants do) it seems to be a win win to me.

Do any major airlines still accept cash on board? (I've only flown southwest lately so I honestly don't know.)

If Amtrak makes more money by accepting cash on board, then that would be the sensible business decision to make.

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

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#30 jamess

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:26 PM

Airlines are private. Amtrak is not.

 

Removing cash would result in an immediate lawsuit on disparate effect on low income riders and minorities (who are unbanked at much higher levels). Especially for routes where passengers can pay cash on board for their tickets.

 

If your goal is to cost Amtrak money, then going cash-only is one fine way to get there.


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#31 PVD

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:44 PM

Nonsense, even public benefits are paid on cards today. You don't need a bank to buy a cash card. 


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#32 seat38a

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:44 PM

Airlines are private. Amtrak is not.

 

Removing cash would result in an immediate lawsuit on disparate effect on low income riders and minorities (who are unbanked at much higher levels). Especially for routes where passengers can pay cash on board for their tickets.

 

If your goal is to cost Amtrak money, then going cash-only is one fine way to get there.

Oh really. Here is what the IRS has to say about taking cash payments for taxes. They charge a fee and I haven't heard of them getting sued.

https://www.irs.gov/...-retail-partner

 

Here is what the Federal Reserve says: https://www.federalreserve.gov/faqs/currency_12772.htm 



#33 Lonestar648

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:46 PM

I think to go cashless Amtrak will need to come up with a card one could buy from a machine/ATM for a specified amount.  Maybe have recharge ability like the commuter systems have.


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#34 seat38a

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 03:50 PM

I think to go cashless Amtrak will need to come up with a card one could buy from a machine/ATM for a specified amount.  Maybe have recharge ability like the commuter systems have.

Or some sort of voucher system at the ticket counter.



#35 Palmland

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 04:21 PM

I think to go cashless Amtrak will need to come up with a card one could buy from a machine/ATM for a specified amount.  Maybe have recharge ability like the commuter systems have.

Or some sort of voucher system at the ticket counter.
Good idea. If going cashless helps Amtrak reduce costs and makes it possible to meet congressionaly mandated requirements, then we should be all for it as it improves the odds that we will we have LD trains with an acceptable food service in the long term. The old days of faux fine dining are just that, get over it (and Im no Millennial - well maybe for the 20th century). For those who can only pay cash for tickets, offer a voucher, as suggested, or AmCard or generic prepaid Visa, for food at the time they purchase tickets. I much prefer using a card as it helps me track expenses. Perhaps offer a discount if you use an Amtrak MasterCard.

Edited by Palmland, 05 June 2018 - 04:47 PM.


#36 MARC Rider

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 04:59 PM

Well, things have sure changed from the time I tried to pay with a credit card for dinner in the diner on the Crescent in 1990. I spent a good part of the evening twiddling my thumbs waiting for the card to be processed.

of course, in the good old days, circa 1975, they didn't bother trying to connect to a computer database when processing a card, they just checked the card against a booklet of bad cards periodically issued by Bank Americard (visa) and Mastercharge (Mastercard).

#37 jis

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 05:15 PM

Well, things have sure changed from the time I tried to pay with a credit card for dinner in the diner on the Crescent in 1990. I spent a good part of the evening twiddling my thumbs waiting for the card to be processed.

of course, in the good old days, circa 1975, they didn't bother trying to connect to a computer database when processing a card, they just checked the card against a booklet of bad cards periodically issued by Bank Americard (visa) and Mastercharge (Mastercard).

And then they took a paper imprint of the card using one of those mechanical devices so that the rest of the world could steal your credit card number easily from improperly disposed off charge slips. That is why the non-embossed Card Verification Code came about.



#38 zephyr17

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 05:26 PM

 

I think to go cashless Amtrak will need to come up with a card one could buy from a machine/ATM for a specified amount.  Maybe have recharge ability like the commuter systems have.

Or some sort of voucher system at the ticket counter.

 

Assuming there is a ticket counter.


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Pre Amtrak: SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr; Amtrak: Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-ORL), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited (NY Section), Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Crescent, Acela Express, Lake Shore Limited (Boston Section)
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Other: BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Alaska Railroad, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX

#39 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 05:29 PM

Yeah did we all forget about the rapist employee that Amtrak could not fire??? What exactly should Amtrak do with their problem employees? Should they be hanged from the nearest tree? Theirs limbs cut off maybe? Hell they can't be fired, so whats the solution to the theft issue???


So Amtrak has a problem with employees who steal and rape and we're going to solve that problem, not by removing those employees or fixing rules that protect them, but by refusing to accept cash payments? That honestly makes no sense to me. Seems like were merely attacking the symptom while ignoring the root cause.

 

Nonsense, even public benefits are paid on cards today. You don't need a bank to buy a cash card.


Yes, now even the humble welfare handout can come with a poverty punishing transaction fee. Yay progress.

https://www.huffingt..._n_5072087.html
https://fivethirtyei...-with-atm-fees/
https://www.washingt...punish-the-poor
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#40 RichieRich

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 05:35 PM

... You reduce the opportunities for both theft ...

Sounds like a personnel (Amtrak) issue....not mine!


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