I must say the title of this entry might be the most eye catching in awhile or in the opinion of some, a way to describe the agency. All jokes aside, the MTA Long Island Rail Road has announced it will be undergoing a pilot partnership with the Long Island based text engine messaging company CooCoo.
The pilot partnership will enable LIRR riders to get travel information sent directly to their cell phone. Here are the complete details courtesy of a press release I received from the LIRR:
MTA Long Island Rail Road customers can now get train schedules and specific travel plans sent to their cell phones as part of a pilot partnership with CooCoo, the Long Island-based text engine company that provides data via text message for standard text fees.
A LIRR customer can use any cell phone to text a travel request – simply text CooCoo
or 266266 (which spells CooCoo) and get an immediate response.
“New ideas like this are revolutionizing the way that our customers can get schedule information,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder. “By partnering with the tech development community, we can create new ways for our customers to access information at no cost to the MTA, and often at no cost to our customers. This is the type of innovation we must pursue to continue improving service even as we attack the MTA’s cost structure.”
LIRR President Helena Williams added: “This is another step in our efforts to harness new technology to keep customers informed. CooCoo is providing a great customer service.”
Many LIRR customers are already getting travel information via the Internet by signing up for LIRR Email Service Alerts or going to the LIRR website www.mta.info/lirr to get information about trains, planned service work, schedule changes and delays. But text-based CooCoo opens a whole new avenue of communication. A text message, such as “Penn to Huntington” sent to CooCoo or 266266 gets train schedules instantly.
“CooCoo is carrier and device independent and will work on all cell phones without using the internet” said John Tunney, Co-Founder of the company. “We applaud the MTA and LIRR for being forward thinkers in offering this service to their riders.”
Since CooCoo’s pilot partnership with the LIRR began on January 13, the firm has been handling hundreds of requests for LIRR train information every day, according to Tunney.
For more information about CooCoo and its LIRR service go the MTA’s home page, www.mta.info/coocoo
CooCoo represents yet another in a series of enhanced LIRR customer communication efforts including the establishment of the LIRR’s Public Information Office providing free, real-time customer E-Alerts on train delays and service disruptions, and the posting of the service notices on large message boards installed at Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica Station.
Customers can sign up for the LIRR’s free E-Alerts by visiting our website at www.mta.info/lirr and clicking on the link titled: “Sign Up for E-mail and Text message Alerts.”
As someone who uses the LIRR, I can appreciate any form of helping customers get important information while on the move. Hopefully this pilot goes well & can turn into a long lasting relationship benefiting all companies & riders alike.
xoxo Transit Blogger