All Aboard: Quik-Trak Brings Convenient Online Ticket-Buying to Durham-UNH Train ServiceBy Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau
May 2, 2003
DURHAM, N.H. -- Taking the train to Old Orchard Beach or Boston has become more convenient for members of the University of New Hampshire and Durham communities thanks to the financial support of the university's students.
Amtrak recently installed a Quik-Trak machine in the lobby of the Whittemore Center Arena as part of UNH's ongoing effort to expand transportation options to the campus and Durham communities.
Similar to the e-ticket system used by airlines, Quik-Trak service allows passengers to make train reservations online and then pick up their tickets just prior to departure in the lobby. Passengers also can purchase walk-up tickets using the Quik-Trak machine without a reservation on a space-available basis.
The monthly operational costs of the Quik-Trak machine, which looks like an ATM machine, will be funded by the new UNH Student Transportation Fee, which is effective July 1. The long-term lease of the machine was funded with New Hampshire Department of Transportation funds and local match provided by UNH.
"This is one of the signs of the direct investment that the students are making to improve the overall transportation system at the university," says Stephen Pesci, special projects manager with UNH Campus Planning and Transportation Services.
Earlier this year, the Student Senate agreed to a $35 annual fee to support transportation alternatives on campus. As part of the agreement, students have a strong voice in the programs and services funded by the fee.
"Everyone has been saying, 'Where to we get tickets?' Now we have an answer for them that is safe and convenient," says Jim Campbell, director of planning and community development with the town of Durham.
In addition, rail service has been expanded to full seven-day service, allowing for embarkation and disembarkation at all northbound and southbound stops.
The Downeaster runs from Portland, Maine, to Boston's North Station, with stops in Old Orchard Beach, Maine; Saco/Biddeford, Maine; Wells, Maine; Dover; Durham-UNH; Exeter; Haverhill, Mass.; Woburn/Anderson, Mass.; and Boston North Station. Online reservations for the Downeaster can be made at www.thedowneaster.com.
From the Portland station, passengers can take the Freeport Explorer express shuttle service to the downtown Freeport shopping district.
"Now, you can get there from here," says Patricia Douglas with the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority.