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11/10/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Amtrak's 'Julie' receives travel facilitation award



The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) recently granted a 2003 travel facilitation Odyssey Award to Amtrak for its automated voice-recognition telephone system.

Introduced in May 2002, "Julie" currently provides train status, schedule and reservation information to about 35 percent of people who call Amtrak’s toll-free number. The system has helped Amtrak increase telephone bookings, according to the national passenger railroad.

Before Julie, Amtrak used a touch-tone system that required callers to dial selections on the telephone keypad; Julie recognizes verbal responses.

TIA Odyssey awards are presented in 10 categories. The travel facilitation category recognizes programs that address access and facilitation issues, signage, language/interpretation service and currency exchange.



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