Drivers, bus users can’t escape new train text alerts
Luke Costin |
Major Sydney rail disruptions will trigger pinging phone messages for all those in an affected area as NSW expands the use of geo-targeted texts.
Sydney Trains from Tuesday will notify of significant network incidents through real-time updates via text messages to a large number of nearby people, similar to the localised texts used by police and other emergency services.
Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia already use the text-alert system for major transport alerts, the rail authority said.
The alerts will be received by all phones in the area with drivers and other non-train users provided no option to opt out.
But the information could be critical for them as well, NSW Transport Minister Jo Haylen said.
“While there might be a major disruption on our rail network, often we know that means there are flow-on effects across the city,” she told reporters.
“It’s not just relevant to passengers that might be catching the train from Circular Quay to Wynyard, but we’re talking about the kind of disruption that would have broader flow-on effects.”
The system, administered by Emergency Management Victoria, will only be used for major disruptions.
Those needing more specific updates are encouraged to download travel apps.
Meanwhile, Ms Haylen defended the large number of on-train audio messages to travellers to keep their bags and feet off the seats, take rubbish with themselves and walk slowly “to avoid trips and falls”.
Told people “just hate this stuff”, the minister said she wanted people to make sure they respected each other.
“We also need to remember that our train system is not just used by residents … but in fact by tourists and visitors to our cities,” she said.AAP