4 1/2 years ago the Long Island Railroad entered into a pilot partnership with text messaging company CooCoo to provide travel information such as scheduled & plans to cell phones. Shortly thereafter the Metro-North joined in as well.
However the times have changed with many riders using smart devices to use real time apps. With that in mind, CooCoo has decided to end the text messaging service as of September 26. Here is more via the MTA:
Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road riders who request train schedules, real-time track assignments and train status updates via text message to 266266 are being advised to switch to smartphone apps as an alternative.
CooCoo, a company that provides text messaging service free of charge to LIRR and Metro-North customers, is ending the service on Friday, September 26. The company is moving away from the text messaging business and shifting to the development of real-time scheduling and fare payment apps for public transportation riders around the country.
“Due to the changing nature of technology and the rising cost of SMS, CooCoo will focus on providing this service to transit riders through mobile applications,” said CooCoo’s Co-Founder, Ryan Thompson.
LIRR and Metro-North riders who use smartphones can continue to get the same information previously available through text messaging by downloading the MTA’s official Train Time apps for Android and iPhone, or by accessing the apps through the web. LIRR Train Time and Metro-North Train Time apps are free, user-friendly, and have been praised for easy functionality by many users. The apps show when the next trains are due at your station, whether each train is running on time, and which track each one is slated to use.
The apps have been downloaded more than 200,000 times since they debuted in December 2013.
I never got to try CooCoo as I always used some form of an app or accessed the site directly from my device. I doubt the service will be missed.
xoxo Transit Blogger