Crowd Alerts on train app allows social distancing

Social distancing isn’t always possible on trains

Crowdsource feature allows travellers to share data and avoid busy services. By Anthony Pearce.

Customers will be able to alert fellow travellers if it’s not possible to social distance on a specific train using a new crowdsourced app feature.

Trainline has launched a nationwide beta-test of Crowd Alerts on its existing app to allow travellers the chance to share data and avoid busy services.

Data from a trial of the feature, which has been running in Trainline’s app for the last two weeks on Northern journeys only, shows that during this period customers shared feedback that it was possible to social distance on 90 per cent of trains.

Crowd Alerts works when customers tap the ‘live tracker’ button for an upcoming journey in Trainline’s app. A pop-up message asks the customer to confirm whether social distancing is possible on their train by clicking a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ button.

If the customer clicks ‘thumbs down’ they will be asked to share whether they are in the front, middle or back of the train. If a customer shares feedback to say social distancing isn’t possible, a bubble will be displayed for all customers searching this journey in Trainline’s app.

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An orange bubble means customers have reported the whole train as busy, a blue bubble means customers have reported one section of the train as busy. The number in the bubble shows how many customers have shared this feedback.  

Chief technology officer at Trainline, Mark Holt, said: “Helping customers safely take the train is our number one priority and we always strive to give them as much live journey information as possible. Crowd Alerts empowers our customers to share in-the-moment, on-the-ground feedback to help the wider Trainline community.

“We encourage customers to follow government guidelines when travelling and use digital tickets on their phone wherever possible, instead of queuing in stations or touching ticket machines, to help make sure that contact with others while travelling is limited.”

The Crowd Alerts beta-test is available for Trainline app customers, across iOS and Android.

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