Rail passengers will soon be able to use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to receive details of transport options for completing journeys after travelling by train.
The new system will feature customised information on all modes of travel including walking, cycling, buses, trams and taxis, industry body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said.
- Full HRA Awards results: record entries; Dartmouth Steam Railway big winners
- Balfour Beatty workers to vote on industrial action over pay
- East Midlands Railway conductors to stage strikes over pay and conditions
Users arriving by train at Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Liverpool and Northampton will even be offered the opportunity to book an e-scooter through rental firm Voi.
Options will be partly determined by the weather, meaning a taxi ride will not be suggested on a hot day when a short walk is a possibility.
The RDG said the service, developed by technology firm Zipabout, will be available on Facebook Messenger from April 13, before a planned rollout to WhatsApp and SMS “later this spring”.
More than 6.7 million personalised journey updates have been sent to passengers through Facebook Messenger since May 2020, including information on how busy services are, disruption alerts and alternative routes.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “This new technology will allow passengers to benefit from a personalised information service in the palm of their hand, helping them avoid disruption, travel safely and enjoy seamless journeys.”
He added: “Smoother and safer journeys will help passengers travel with confidence and consider new ways to complete their journey.”
RDG director of nations and regions Robert Nisbet said: “As we begin to come out of lockdown we’re doing more to help people make their door-to-door journeys with ease, which is why we’ve worked with Zipabout and Government to provide passengers with a choice of sustainable travel options to help them complete the last mile of their journey when they travel by train.”
Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said: “As more people return to public transport in the coming weeks, reliable information will be vital to help passengers plan, avoid busier services and maintain social distancing.”
Railway ReadsFrom the history of steam through to 21st century rail transport news, we have titles that cater for all rail enthusiasts. Covering diesels, modelling, steam and modern railways, check out our range of magazines and fantastic subscription offers.
Get The Railway Hub Weekly Round-upEnter your e-mail address below and you will receive weekly rail news straight into your inbox...
You can unsubscribe at any time.
About the Author
- Book of the Week: Railways and Recollections - 27th June 2022
- Passenger numbers as low as 12% as services disrupted by rail strikes - 23rd June 2022
- What rail services will run on Friday after the latest strike? - 23rd June 2022