May 22--Responding to complaints about poor communication regarding delays and cancellations this winter, Metra today launched a new way for riders to choose when to receive email alerts about train service.
Customers who are signed up for alerts about service issues via their "My Metra" accounts can now specify the times they want to receive them, the commuter rail agency said.
"Our riders have asked us to improve the way we communicate with them, and we are working hard to do just that," Metra Executive Director Don Orseno said in an announcement to customers.
Under the old system, riders who signed up to receive emails about delays or other service issues for their line received every alert sent during the course of a day.
Over the winter, when scores of Metra trains were delayed and canceled, riders complained of being bombarded with dozens of emails that did not pertain to their trains, or were too late for them to be helpful.
Metra said many riders suggested the alerts would be more useful if customers could choose to receive them only during certain time periods -- for instance, during their regular morning and evening commutes.
The enhancement allows customers to select windows of time during which they want to receive the email alerts.
Riders already signed up for emails don't need to do anything if they wish to continue to receive every alert, Metra said.
Metra said the change will also give customers the option of signing up for a variety of other emails about specialized topics.
These include the ability to select additional emails from Metra, including notifications about the status of elevators on the system and newsletters.
To customize emails, Metra said customers should log into their "My Metra" accounts at www.metrarail.com.
Metra said it will send an email to riders signed up to receive alerts explaining the enhancements and containing instructions about how to make the changes. Instructions also will be posted on Metra's website.
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