MA: New MBTA Commuter Rail App Features Alarm

There's some new help for MBTA commuter rail travelers catching some zzz's to and from work — or just looking for real-time train information.

The official MBTA Commuter Rail app from Keolis Commuter Services, which began operating the trains on July 1, features an alarm that can be set to activate from five to 60 minutes before a train's real-time arrival at a station.

"We viewed this as part of our customer service outreach," Keolis spokesman Mac Daniel said of the app. "We really wanted it to be user-friendly and help. Over time, we want the passengers to influence where it goes from here."

The Android version of the free app launched July 1, and the Apple version debuted yesterday.

The app provides access to commuter rail schedules and real-time countdowns to trains' departure and arrival times, with updates on delays and other alerts. Commuters also can track a train's progress on a map view of its route.

"(It's) useful both for veteran commuters and folks just getting to know the system for the first time" Daniel said.

Users can see a train's speed, its direction, trip distance and stops remaining. The app also keeps a tally of the gas that commuters save by using the rail service instead of driving, carbon dioxide emissions avoided and "time spent working or relaxing and not stuck in traffic."

Available in English and five other languages, the app links to the MBTA mTicket app for ticket purchases.

A lost-and-found function is in the works. Users also can provide feedback directly to Keolis' customer service.

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