January 26, 2010

N.Y. MTA enhances email, text alerts

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced enhancements to its email and text message alerts used to notify customers of changes to subway, bus and rail service.

The alerting service now allows subscribers to opt to receive information only about planned service changes. Previously, subscribers who had wanted information on planned service changes also automatically received alerts on delays or other unexpected service disruptions. While alerts on unplanned service disruptions can and do appear 24/7, MTA New York City Transit generally sends out information on weekend planned subway service changes on Thursday afternoons.

Additionally, the enhanced service now allows subscribers to suspend their subscription for a predetermined or indefinite period of time. When the subscription resumes, all of the settings and preferences will be unchanged.

To enhance the alerting service further, the MTA plans to send out a survey to its 70,000 email and text message alert subscribers in February to ask for advice on how to improve it.

While not every idea for an enhancement to the alerting system may be feasible to implement, the MTA hopes to collect ideas about what enhancements may be desirable or useful to users.

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