Popular Chat Tool Will Allow More Riders to Get Real Time Service Information
With Help of Google Translate, Customers Can Now Connect Directly to Metro-North Staff in More Than 100 Languages
MTA Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi today announced that Metro-North customers can now communicate with the railroad in real time using the popular messaging platform WhatsApp.
“It is important that our customers are able to communicate in real time and it’s what we’ve become accustomed to as a tech savvy society,” said President Rinaldi. “We will continue to work on new ways to deliver excellent customer service as part of our Way Ahead Plan.”
Metro-North’s customer service representatives will receive messages from Metro-North customers via WhatsApp between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily and be able to reply in real time. Metro-North receives about 50,000 messages per year from social media channels. The announcement follows a similar one from Metro-North’s sister agency, MTA New York City Transit, which began using WhatsApp for customer communications last year.
Metro-North advises that WhatsApp is not for reporting emergencies. Customers who have an emergency or feel threatened should call 911. The best way to receive real-time service alerts, is to sign up for emails or text messages at mymtaalerts.com, or customers can also follow @MetroNorth on Twitter.
The WhatsApp messaging is being advertised now on Metro-North’s electronic signage and a link is available in the Metro-North section of the MTA’s “contact us” web page. Metro-North will also add a link to WhatsApp from the Metro-North TrainTime App.
The new messaging feature complements real-time information and train updates on arrival and departure boards throughout the system, including potential delays and track changes. In November, the railroad unveiled major new features to the Metro-North TrainTime app, including one that lets customers track in real time the amount of space available on each car of an approaching train, designed to help customers keep appropriate social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Riders can also track the location of trains before and after arriving at their origin station.
Customers can chat with Metro-North by visiting Metro-North's WhatsApp chat page.