UK rail passengers offered Whatsapp messages about delayed or canceled trains

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UK rail passengers can now receive alerts via WhatsApp when their train is delayed or canceled.

The industry body, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said travelers can get personalized information about disruptions, alternative routes and how cars should be occupied through the messaging app.

Alerts were previously only available through Facebook Messenger.

The service has been added to WhatsApp as part of efforts to support passengers returning to work and study after summer vacation.

Passengers can register by planning their trip using the National Rail Inquiries website and clicking on “Keep me posted on WhatsApp”.

Nearly three million personalized travel updates were sent during the coronavirus pandemic.

RDG CEO Jacqueline Starr said: “As people working from home start commuting to their places of work again, we want to make sure they can travel with confidence, which is why we are offering passengers access to personalized travel information through the channels. they use the most.

“Customers who use the National Rail Alert Me service and travel frequently, or decide to take a less traveled train if the service of their choice should be busy, could get a free drink or snack as part of a pilot project. retail that we are exploring as one of the ways to get people back to rail.

Railways Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said it was a “brilliant new way” to make train travel easier.

“By sending useful updates through the apps people already use, passengers can get the information they need quickly, easily and from anywhere on the rail network,” he said.

Passenger demand data is provided using a system developed by technology company Zipabout.

Company CEO Alex Froom said: “WhatsApp is the most popular app in the UK and represents a great opportunity for the rail industry to engage with a large audience.

“Alert Me by WhatsApp is not a chatbot and this is the first time anyone has used the app to share personalized updates in real time on their favorite pre-existing communication channels. “

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