Passengers of East Midlands Trains will now be notified of any disruption through the use of personalised messages sent directly to them via Facebook Messenger for the first time ever.
The option to opt-in to receive personalised messages can be found on the EMT website for all EMT services. The messages that will be received through Facebook Messenger will be personalised to individual passengers and specific journey legs instead of covering whole routes. The messages will also be sent out for all delays that amount to more than 10% of the initial journey time.
Zipabout who are specialists in transport tech designed the technology. The aim was to remove the need for too many messages causing confusion during disruption broadcasts. Currently, the system is going through a trial on the EMT website with plans to roll it out to both the National Rail Enquiries and Scotrail website this coming autumn.
The technology also has the capacity to identify live issues on a multimodal journey, although this feature is not available yet. This covers things such as road congestion, delays to flights while providing the passenger with a smooth journey from start to finish.
There is hope that all transport modes will be able to make use of this technology, in order to reduce the problems associated with disruption through cross-modal and re-routing those passengers who find themselves in the middle of a journey when a delay or cancellation occurs.
It is vital that passengers are provided with the correct information at the right time. This new technology provides a solution that makes this happen and moving forward it will prove an invaluable option for passengers.
Passengers are now expecting an enhanced service but often, unforeseen problems can occur. However, this technology provides them with the accurate information they need without them having to go looking for it. Essentially, the right people will receive the right information that is relevant to them.
A similar technology is used by KLM as a way of sending boarding passes and flight tracking information to passengers. However, this does require a new opt-in for every flight, proving just how forward-thinking this new technology really is for the rail industry.