VIA Really Express

I had the pleasure of trying out one of VIA Rail Canada‘s new VIA Express automated ticket kiosks on Tuesday, and I’m pretty impressed. It had the fastest, simplest user interface I have ever seen on any kiosk. Using it to pick up a prepaid ticket, I just had to touch the screen to have the kiosk exit its screensaver and snap to attention, slip my credit card in and out of the card slot, and out came my train ticket, two seconds later.

No redundant verification screens asking you to type stuff, or “Please wait because I have a slow CPU” dialog boxes. I spent more time taking my credit card out of my wallet than using the machine. The machine does not eat your credit card until the transaction is finished – you just push it in and pull it out – meaning you never let go of your credentials.