The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is in the process of improving a program designed to inform commuters whenever there are alerts pertaining to the state's public transportation system, according to a report from Going forward, when buses or trains are delayed, riders will receive that information promptly on their mobile phones via text alerts.

The MBTA was running a notification system called T-Alerts, but a number of complaints regarding the service's speed and effectiveness resulted in a revamped system set to go live on June 4. When it launches, the current system will be discontinued and the more than 50,000 subscribers will be transferred to the new program. 

Among the upgrades are more reliable delivery times. Also, according to a statement from the MBTA, information pertaining to delays, station closings or anything else that could impact the daily commute will contain greater detail, so recipients are able to adjust their travel plans accordingly.

"Service alerts and notifications will be clearer and more detailed with additional information regarding specific trip times, service schedule changes and distinct directional, branch and station communications," the statement said.

The benefit of sending these announcements via text message is that they will reach more people than any other form of communication. Announcements will still be on the website and sent via email, but no messages are read at a higher rate than SMS. Organizations that are looking to upgrade their public communications system should consider implementing SMS services. Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools needed to launch effective text messaging initiatives.