today in travel

Amtrak’s New Texting Service Is For Reporting Crimes (But Not Juicy Couture Tracksuits)

Is reporting a loud chewer considered "suspicious?"
Look at this dumb thing. (Photo: Flickr)

Look at this dumb thing. (Photo: Flickr)

From the crappy coffee to the disgusting trash strewn about, there’s a lot to complain about the Amtrak experience. While it’s tempting to use the rail line’s new text-message complaint line about that crinkled candy wrapper shoved between two seats, it’s actually intended for use in cutting down on crime.

Today, Amtrak announced a text messaging hotline (APD11) that’s affiliated with its police department to report suspicious bags, criminal activity and emergencies. After you text your complaint, you’ll receive a return message that connects you with a dispatcher so you can communicate further in reporting how that gaudy knock-off Louis Vuitton duffel is bothering you.

Similar texting programs that let passengers anonymously report suspected criminal activity are already in place with NJ Transit and the MTA. Amtrak Police Chief Polly Hanson said in a release, “People should trust their gut, follow their instincts, and report anything that just doesn’t seem right.”

So, don’t abuse it because as the sage Liz Lemon once said, “Living a lie will eat you up inside like that parasite I got from eating sushi on Amtrak.”

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com