Metro-North is Going CooCoo
MTA Metro-North Railroad customers can now get train schedules via text message (SMS) as part of a partnership with CooCoo, a Long Island-based text scheduling company. Offering CooCoo's services to customers is just one more way people can get train schedules on the go.
For Metro-North information, use any cell phone to text a station-to-station request to 266266, which spells CooCoo, for example Rye to Grand Central, and get an immediate response. The service is free. Standard text messaging fees apply.
The MTA and its railroads continue to improve access to information, not just schedules and fares, but up to the minute service status. Metro-North pioneered and developed a system of e-mail alerts back in 2003 where customers are able to sign up for notifications by line or by station, and by time of day.
Metro-North has also been cognizant of using existing hardware to hold down costs. Take ticket vending machines for example. For 15 years, they just dispensed tickets.
Starting last month, railroad programmers added train service status by line.
So if you are buying a ticket at the White Plains station, the machine has a scrolling message line that will tell you whether the Harlem Line has good service or if there are delays. If you buy a ticket at Grand Central, train service status information will be displayed for all three lines.
Metro-North is also working with NYC Subways to get information about the Number 4, 5, 6, 7 trains and the Times Square Shuttle posted on the big message board at Grand Central Terminal. So when railroad customers arrive in the morning, they will know right away if there is a problem with their subway line.
At fifty outlying stations, Metro-North is upgrading software so that 20-year-old digital signs can be used to show service status by line.
Last year, Metro-North launched TrainTime to provide smart phone and computer users with convenient real-time access to train status and schedule information. So far, TrainTime has had one million hits.