May 22, 2014

Chicago's Metra allowing customization of email alerts

Douglas Rahden

Douglas Rahden
Chicago’s Metra commuter rail system launched “Customize Your Commute,” allowing riders to individually choose when to receive email service alerts and also giving them the option to sign up for a variety of other emails about specialized topics.

The changes will benefit all riders, as well as businesses interested in Metra’s DBE program; parents, educators and schoolchildren interested in Metra’s Safety Poster Contest; and passengers with disabilities who need to know about the status of elevators or other ADA issues.

The enhancements to Metra’s communications arsenal were made in direct response to rider feedback.

“We have designed and launched ‘Customize Your Commute’ to provide more information, and more useful information, that can be personally tailored by every individual to fit their specific interests and needs,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno.

Metra riders who are signed up to receive email alerts about service issues will now be able to tell Metra precisely when they want to receive them. Earlier this year, Orseno had committed to having this enhancement in place by June.

Under the former system, riders who signed up to receive email alerts about delays or other service issues for their preferred line or lines would receive every alert sent during the course of a day.

Many riders suggested the alerts would be more useful if Metra gave customers the option of choosing to receive them only during certain time periods — for instance, during their regular morning and evening commutes. The enhancement therefore allows customers to select windows of time during which they want to receive email alerts.

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