SMS text-messaging company Kapow has announced a trial of the UK's first SMS railway-commuter club for passengers in Kent.
Launching next month the service will generate a 'club' of users who inform each other whenever there are problems with the trains. Each message will cost 25p to receive.
The trial will involve a dozen commuters who will test the usefulness of the service in advance of inviting possibly thousands to join. It is expected that Kapow will nominate a hard core of commuters to provide alerts for all subscribers.
A club member arriving at a station to find that a train has been cancelled or severely delayed can warn other commuters to stay at home or divert to more reliable commuting options such as their cars.
Andrew Cowles, technical director at Kapow, said: "Railway operators have tried harder in recent years to provide more information, but still seem to be finding it hard to keep up with the unreliability of railway services.
"We hope that the SMS commuter club relieves them of some of the strain of handling passengers who become annoyed when railway services let them down."
The first trial club will cover neighbouring stations Sidcup and New Eltham and will test the viability of the service over a two-month period. It will be provided free to a limited number of commuters.
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