National Rail’s travel information service ‘Alert Me’ is now available on WhatsApp for all UK rail customers.

ByRochelle W. Stone

Sep 8, 2021

National Rail travel information is now available via WhatsApp after the launch of a new service.

The revolutionary service uses artificial intelligence (AI) that was created by Zipabout and now integrates WhatsApp to provide customers with personalized, real-time trip updates with useful information such as delays, disruptions and travel options. alternative route even before their departure for the station. WhatsApp is one of the most popular private communications platforms in the world.

The “Alert me by WhatsApp” service marks a significant change in the way passengers receive information about their journey by providing communications using the most popular applications and platforms, which offers a more efficient solution. efficient and effective in keeping passengers informed of their journeys.

To date, National Rail has sent approximately 3 million personalized travel updates to customers, which is part of their commitment to safer travel during the pandemic, which includes occupancy alerts, information about disruptions and also alternative routes.

Customers using the Alert Me by October service can also choose to get rewards like free coffee from station retailers like Upper Crust during their trip. This supplement is part of a retail trial benefiting customers who travel by train or opting for an alternative service if their train is busy.

The rail industry has taken a number of measures to help passengers return to work and education after the summer break, including Alert Me by WhatsApp, improved cleaning and ventilation on trains and also the introduction of the Flexi Season subscription which gives commuters more flexibility to share their time between home and office.

To board the new trip planning service, passengers can use the National Rail Inquiries website and simply click on “Keep me posted via WhatsApp”.

Jacqueline Starr, Managing Director of Rail Delivery Group (RDG), the company that manages National Rail on behalf of the rail industry, 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 providing passengers with access to personalized travel information through the channels. that they use the most. Customers who use the National Rail Alert Me service and travel frequently, or decide to take a less busy train if the service of their choice is scheduled to be busy, could pick up a free drink or snack as part of a Retail Pilot that we explore. as one of the ways to get people back to rail.

Railways Minister Chris Heaton Harris said: “It’s a great new way to make train travel even 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.

Dan Lenan, Director of Partnerships at WhatsApp, said: “WhatsApp is already used by millions of people around the world to connect with businesses, ask questions and order a product or service. This partnership truly harnesses the power of messaging on WhatsApp to connect consumers to their specific journey. The service makes great use of the features available to businesses on the WhatsApp API and is a prime example of the potential of messaging through an automated 1: 1 channel.

Alex Froom, Managing Director of Zipabout, 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 someone has used the app to share personalized updates in real time on their favorite pre-existing communication channels.

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