WhatsApp at Metro-NorthWritten by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
MTA Metro-North Railroad passengers can now communicate with the railroad in real time via the popular social media messaging platform WhatsApp.
Like sister agency New York City Transit, which adopted WhatsApp in 2020, Metro-North customer service representatives can receive WhatsApp messages from passengers via between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily and be able to reply in real time. The railroad said it receives about 50,000 messages per year through social media channels.
WhatsApp “complements real-time information and train updates on arrival and departure boards throughout the system, including potential delays and track changes,” Metro-North noted. In November 2020, 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.
WhatsApp “is not for reporting emergencies,” Metro-North cautioned. “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 advertised 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.
“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 Catherine Rinaldi. “We will continue to work on new ways to deliver excellent customer service as part of our Way Ahead Plan.”