Transport for NSW has announced that it has added support for Amazon’s cloud-based voice service – Alexa – to provide real time train, ferry and light rail arrival information.
Transport for NSW’s skill for Alexa gives customers easy, hands-free access to network information along with any service updates for Sydney Trains, Sydney Ferries and Inner West Light Rail journeys. Customers can activate the TfNSW skill for Alexa by simply adding it in the Amazon Alexa app.
Tony Braxton-Smith, Deputy Secretary, Customer Services for TfNSW said:
“We recognise that the information landscape is shifting towards voice services, which is why we have been so quick to adopt and innovate in this space. We see RITA’s transport service disruption information as a perfect match with Alexa.”
Once the TfNSW RITA skill has been installed and enabled through the Amazon Alexa app, customers can simply ask “Alexa ask Transport RITA, what’s my morning commute like?” and hear up to date information on disruptions affecting their saved commute.
“In NSW, we know transport is no longer just about building infrastructure and running services, but embracing new technology to provide the best services for our customers. RITA began as an interactive Chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Now RITA has evolved to become an essential component of digital assistant products like Alexa”.
Transport for NSW have been looking into and focussing on new digital products recently such as timetables and real informations apps like TripView, Citymapper, Arrivo Sydney just to name a few but also more recently launched OpalPay with Manly Fast Ferry company routes between Manly and Circular Quay.
“As it stands, our Open Data website has served over 1 billion API hits. This type of innovation is now part and parcel of travelling in Sydney, it would be hard to imagine your daily bus or train ride to work without real-time transport apps.
The best thing about RITA is the potential to shape and evolve the customer experience.”
Transport for NSW hopes to explore the options for more voice based skills on digital assistants looking ahead to the potential to include real-time bus disruption information, Opal voice activated balance top-ups in the home, frequently asked questions and much more.
Sadly the only thing that is missing is the ability for Alexa to provide information on bus updates and disruptions. Transport for NSW hasn’t indicated when this will be enabled in the future.