Rail Agency launches SMS service for Dubai Metro

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Dubai's transport authority has launched a new service to allow metro passengers to get timetable information via mobile phone texts.

The Rail Agency, a unit of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), said users could access the services through short text messages to be sent to 5223.

The service is coordinated with the Public Transport Agency via the timetables of the Journey Planner (Wojhati), the agency said in a statement.

Under the new service, users can send a text message to the number 5223 adding the letter D, followed by the code of the stand near the metro arrival point.

The customer will then receive a message communicating the timing of three inbound journeys.

Ramadan Abdulla, director of Rail Operation, RTA Rail Agency, said: "The RTA is keen on offering a bunch of new technological services that meet the needs of the public and facilitate the processes of using mass transit systems in general and the Metro in particular.

"Delivering this service is aligned with the highest international standards of mass transit systems, and enhances the satisfaction of customers who are the backbone of the success of our various initiatives."

He said the new SMS service will offer real-time information on Dubai Metro schedules to help passengers travel smoothly.

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Posted by: Telcoguy

Hi Hisham, maybe you want to share with the rest of the readers where you get your data. Because that "Most of us have a GPS enabled device" and apps talk keep nagging at me. I do not have figures for the UAE, but I do have them for several other GCC countries and smartphone penetration goes some 45-55% (I am looking at the CDRs here, that is as primary as you can go, methinks)

So an apps solution, while nice and flashy, would leave half of the population, the half most likely to use public transportation, with no solution at all

Personally I have a soft spot for those that can fix a problem using the simplest technology available.
BTW those interested in seeing what can be done with a "low tech" solution should check what Zain KSA developed for the Pakistani agency in charge of Hajj, a location solution based on triangulation of the signal from the base stations. It runs on the simplest phones. The Economist was covering it this week too

Posted by: Oldtimer

The Wojhati website is not user friendly at all. I wanted to find bus route from a metro station to a stop in Al Ghusais; entered the bus stop names/numbers in the 'from' & 'to' boxes and searched. It gave me options that were not in Ghusais! I then went by car to these bus stops to confirm the numbers and tried to search again for the route but no luck! A good website should have alternate route suggestion also. A total revamp is urgently needed. RTA, hope you are listening!

Posted by: Hisham

Hasn't the RTA ever heard of apps? Like an app which can determine your location and guide you to your destination. They would have to dramatically update their wojhati website and the database behind it, but maybe they should hire experts from other countries (like the U.S., Germany and The Netherlands) where these apps are already heavily used and relied on... In case anyone with any relation to the RTA needs more info, reply to me and I will give you a list of companies that can do this at less than this project has probably cost, since the technology is not that complicated... This SMS stuff is so outdated when most of us have a GPS enabled device everywhere we go...

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