NYCT: Customer Service Only an ‘iMessage’ Away
Once users activate a real-time chat through the Apple Messages app, an automated assistant will bring up a menu of options to select, ranging from the next train or bus and planned work going on to reporting a MetroCard fare payment issue or a safety concern. When that information is provided, a member of the NYCT digital customer service team will help answer questions and get issues resolved. All riders, including those with Android devices, can reach out to the same team using WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
The new feature is part of an Apple Business Chat Pilot program. It was first introduced in an April “soft launch,” and has already generated approximately 1,100 messages, according to NYCT. In-station and subway/bus signage promotes its use and a social media campaign is expected “in the coming weeks,” the agency said.
NYCT rolled out its WhatsApp customer service app in October 2020. MTA Metro-North Railroad launched it earlier this year.
MTA is still available via telephone; information is available by dialing 511, the New York State Travel Information Line. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing can use their preferred service provider for the free 711 relay to reach the MTA at 511.
“We want to give customers every possible tool to communicate with us,” MTA Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer said. “There are a lot of iPhone users in New York City, and this feature gives customers the ability to interact with us like they are texting a friend or family member.”