Riders of Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MTBA) bus routes can receive real-time bus schedules for some routes sent by text message to their mobile phones as part of a partnership with software company CooCoo.
A rider can use any mobile phone to make a schedule request and get an immediate text response. The real-time text message pilot will be expanded to additional MBTA bus routes and commuter rail trains in the coming weeks. CooCoo's text-based service is available free of charge to commuters. The MBTA will receive a modest portion of revenues generated by advertising linked to the service.
CooCoo, a New York-based company, also has partnerships with the Long Island Railroad, Metro North Rail Road and New Jersey Transit, with further expansion planned.
The CooCoo partnership is the latest innovative step by the MBTA to provide customers with real-time information about bus and train location and arrival. The U.S. Department of Transportation last month pointed to the MBTA as a transit agency leading the way nationally in these initiatives.