New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) released a competitive procurement for a system that will provide e-mail and text messaging service alerts to its customers.
The MTA, which hopes to begin providing the service by the spring of 2008, will use the alert system to notify customers of any events that might disrupt their normal travel.
The proposed system would send text messages or e-mails to customers' designated e-mail accounts, cell phones, PDAs and other similar communications devices — in as close to real-time as possible.
Such messages would include notification of planned service disruptions, including scheduled track work that might result in weekend delays or alternate train routing, as well as unplanned disruptions resulting from fires, storms, flooding or other emergency conditions.
"The flooding on August 8 made it clear that timely text and email alerts are necessary...It will no doubt be the largest such customer service alert system in the nation," said Elliot G. Sander, MTA executive director and CEO.
Over time, the MTA anticipates up to one million subscribers to this service, a number which cannot be handled with in-house technology.
This system will also serve the purpose of integrating several separate MTA operating agency-specific systems to allow customers to do one-stop registration for a number of services.