Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Customers can text "CooCoo" for LIRR fare info

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Customers can text "CooCoo" for LIRR fare info | Railway Track & Structures

MTA Long Island Rail Road customers can now obtain train fare information via cell phone text message from CooCoo, the Long Island-based text engine company that has been providing train schedules and service updates via cell phone at no extra cost beyond the phone company's standard texting fee.

Since CooCoo debuted its LIRR travel information in January, some 50,000 unique users have tried the service, with 77 percent coming back to use it again. Between 300 and 500 additional LIRR customers are discovering the convenience of CooCoo every day.

Texting station-to-station request to 266266 (that spells CooCoo) gets train information in second, including departure/arrival time, ticket prices and service updates. The company estimates it will answer more than 1.8 million requests this year at the current rate of daily usage.

"We are excited about the innovative way CooCoo is getting LIRR travel information to the public and that it's being done at no cost to the MTA," said MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder. "The addition of ticket prices to this service is another positive step in an experiment that is promising to help us revolutionize the way mass transit data is provided in New York."

Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams said: "Customer response to CooCoo has been very encouraging. Our customers like the option of getting train and now fare information via cell phone. It's very convenient and in the long run should help drive down our costs."

CooCoo Co-Founder John Tunney said: "The fact that CooCoo is so user-friendly is why we're getting such a high delight factor among LIRR customers. At CooCoo, our plan is to continue to introduce more innovative services for mass transit riders as time goes on."

CooCoo is the latest in a series of enhanced LIRR customer communication efforts. Customers can also receive free, real-time customer E-Alerts by signing up at www.mta.info/lirr.

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