Passengers can opt in to receive personalised disruption information for any EMT service, including regular journeys, via Facebook Messenger through a ‘Keep Me Updated’ button on the EMT website. The messages are tailored to individual passengers and individual journey legs and cover any delays greater than 10% of the total journey time.

EMT says the technology, designed by Zipabout, Britain, is the first globally to use Facebook Messenger for ongoing personalised disruption messaging in a transport network and looks to remove the need for confusing mass disruption broadcasts.

Currently live as a pilot on the EMT website, the technology will be rolled out on the National Rail Enquiries and ScotRail websites in the autumn.

Chatbots with Facebook Messenger integration are already widely adopted by transport operators as a means of enhancing customer service but require ongoing proactive input by the passenger.

“Passengers now demand sophisticated, accurate information on-the-go, and don’t want to have to scroll endlessly through Twitter to find out about delays to journeys that may not be entirely relevant to them,” says Zipabout cofounder, Mr Alex Froom. “With this new technology, EMT will be able to get the right information directly into the hands of the right people at the right time for the first time.”