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LIRR customers can get train times, delay info via text

The MTA and a Huntington tech firm have

The MTA and a Huntington tech firm have teamed up to make service delays and train times available via text messaging. Photo Credit: iStock File

Long Island Rail Road schedules and updates are now just a text message away.

O RLY?

Yes, really. The MTA and a Huntington tech firm have teamed up to make service delays and train times available via text messaging for the first time.

Using the service is free to anyone who owns a phone with messaging capabilities, although standard text message rates apply, officials said. Times and delays are accessible by texting 266266 with a station-to-station request such as "Farmingdale to Penn."

Those numbers spell CooCoo, the Huntington firm that is working with the MTA on the pilot project. CooCoo co-founder and restaurateur John Tunney said the service could be applied to other MTA transit systems if it is popular.

"We've created a system where you feel comfortable, it's fast and it's efficient," he said.

The MTA is not paying CooCoo for developing the service, Tunney and MTA officials said, and the train text service does not require users to have a particular cell phone carrier.

LIRR customers who text the service will receive a text back that includes the next five train times for the desired trip. Users are then prompted to send another text to learn if any of the times are subject to delays.

The service, which went live earlier this month, will be formally introduced by MTA officials at a news conference in Manhattan Monday.

The event will include "basic information about how customers on the Long Island Rail Road can use the service," said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.

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