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The Boston Globe

Metro

MBTA to launch improved T-Alerts system

The MBTA says it will launch a revamped “T-Alerts’’ notification system that officials promise will provide faster and more reliable text and e-mail alerts notifying them of service disruptions and planned changes.

The new “T-Alerts” notification system will launch June 4, and riders can register for the new service at www.mbta.com

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More than 50,000 subscribers are currently signed up for the existing “T-Alerts” system, which started in 2007. It will be discontinued, and subscribers must sign up for the new system to continue to receive alerts. The T plans to remind current subscribers that they should sign up for the new system by sending them alerts starting this week.

Under the new system, alerts will continue to be posted to the T’s website, “with visual enhancements made to page layout and format for clarity, ease-of-use, and reader-friendliness,” the public transit agency said in a statement Thursday.

Text message and e-mail alerts will have more “reliable delivery times” through a new partnership between the T and GovDelivery, a digital communication management company.

“Service alerts and notifications will be clearer and more detailed with additional information regarding specific trip times, service schedule changes, and distinct directional, branch, and station communications,” the statement said.

Like the old system, the new T-Alerts allows riders to tailor which alerts they receive. Riders can choose to be sent alerts about a mix of subway, commuter rail, boat, bus, and elevators and escalators within the system.

Customizing is easier under the new system and allows some additional flexibility when signing up, including letting customers pick certain times of the day for when they want to receive alerts, T spokeswoman Kelly Smith said.

T officials also hope the new notification system will pave the way for third-party software developers to create new smartphone applications and websites around the “T-Alerts” system, Smith said.

Such apps could allow riders even more options for customizing how they receive the alerts, she said.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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