LIRR Launches TrainTime® Live Chat

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
LIRR Chief Innovation Officer Will Fisher helped introduce the new chat feature of the agency’s TrainTime app, allowing riders to ask questions or report problems in real time. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)

LIRR Chief Innovation Officer Will Fisher helped introduce the new chat feature of the agency’s TrainTime app, allowing riders to ask questions or report problems in real time. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has added a live chat feature to its TrainTime® app, as another way for riders to get information or report problems.

Riders can ask about the time, location or passenger load of trains, for instance, and receive links to specific information or real-time passenger loading data. LIRR customer service representatives are available seven days per week, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., to answer questions. Built in-house, the new app feature will make the rider experience more seamless, according to LIRR Chief Innovation Officer Will Fisher.

Customers who already have TrainTime® installed will receive an automatic update so that they can use the new feature. The revamped app is also available for download through the App Store and Google Play Store.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority will track the usefulness and popularity of the in-app chat function and consider extending it to other agency apps, including MYmta. In 2020, MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) began using WhatsApp to allow subway and bus riders to communicate with NYCT in real time.

“We are giving our customers the tools they need to communicate directly with us no matter where they are and building features for the 21st century,” LIRR President Phil Eng said. “With the support of our labor partners at TCU and their members for embracing this idea, Will Fisher and his entire team once again went outside the box and put this new communication tool in the palm of our customers’ hand.”

In September 2020, the TrainTime® app was updated, giving riders access to real-time ridership data for 100% of the fleet as a way to maximize social distancing.

Listen to a Commuter Rail Coalition-sponsored Rail Group On Air podcast on TrainTime®, Long Island Rail Road, “Route of the Informed Commuter,” with Phil Eng and Will Fisher.

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