Trainline’s new app feature lets passengers flag if social distancing is possible on their train


Trainline launches new feature on its app that allows travellers to alert fellow passengers if social distancing is possible on their service

  • The feature is called Crowd Alert and is being launched nationwide today 
  • It will let passengers report if parts of a train are too busy for social distancing  
  • This will alert fellow passengers who are planning on using the same service  

Train travellers will be able to alert fellow passengers if it’s not possible to social distance on a specific service thanks to a new rail app feature. 

The feature, called Crowd Alerts, is being launched on the Trainline app nationwide today.

According to Trainline, it will enable its customers to alert one another if certain parts of a train – the front, middle or back – are too busy for safe distances to be established.

If a customer shares feedback to say social distancing isn’t possible, a bubble will be displayed on Trainline's app.  An orange bubble means customers have reported the whole train as busy, while a blue bubble means customers have reported one section of the train as busy

The new Crowd Alerts feature on the Trainline app will ask customers if it possible to social distance on a specific train. If a customer shares feedback to say social distancing isn’t possible, a bubble will be displayed on Trainline’s app. An orange bubble means customers have reported the whole train as busy, while a blue bubble means customers have reported one section of the train as busy

Trainline says Crowd Alerts works when a customer taps the ‘live tracker’ button for an upcoming journey in Trainline’s app.

A pop-up message asks the customer to confirm whether social distancing is possible on their train by clicking a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ button.

If the customer clicks ‘thumbs down’ they will be asked to share whether they are in the front, middle or back of the train.

If a customer shares feedback to say social distancing isn’t possible, a bubble will be displayed for all customers searching this journey in Trainline’s app.

An orange bubble means customers have reported the whole train as busy, while a blue bubble means customers have reported one section of the train (front, middle or back) as busy.

The number in the bubble shows how many customers have shared this feedback.

Data from a trial of the feature, which has been running on Trainline’s app for the past two weeks on northern journeys only, shows that during this period, customers shared feedback that it was possible to social distance on 90 per cent of trains.

As more people start to travel by train and use Crowd Alerts, Trainline says it can make the anonymised crowd-sourced data available to the rail industry to help train operators identify parts of the network that customers are reporting as busy.

As more people start to travel by train and use Crowd Alerts, Trainline says it can make the anonymised crowd-sourced data available to the rail industry

As more people start to travel by train and use Crowd Alerts, Trainline says it can make the anonymised crowd-sourced data available to the rail industry

Chief technology officer at Trainline, Mark Holt, said: ‘Helping customers safely take the train is our number one priority and we also strive to give them as much live journey information as possible.

‘Crowd Alerts empowers our customers to share in-the-moment, on-the-ground feedback to help the wider Trainline community.

‘We encourage customers to follow government guidelines when travelling and use digital tickets on their phone wherever possible, instead of queuing in stations or touching ticket machines, to help make sure that contact with others while travelling is limited.’

The Crowd Alerts beta-test is available for Trainline app customers, across iOS and Android.

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