Hong Kong MTR

MTR mobile app upgrade will help passengers find their friends in stations, take quickest route

Two new functions on the MTR mobile app will launch in Admiralty station on September 4

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 August, 2017, 10:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 12:56am

Hong Kong MTR passengers will be able to find their friends, be guided to shops and recommended the cheapest and fastest routes with two new features on the rail operator’s mobile application.

One new feature, called “In-Station Finder”, lets users share their exact location while in stations over WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat. When connected to Bluetooth, phones will link to beacons – inbuilt navigational systems placed around stations – which can to determine their location. The app can also guide customers to specific locations such as facilities, shops, platforms, entrances and exits.

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“Fast Exit”, the second new function, will recommend passengers to board a specific train car and indicate the door numbers which are closest to their exit destination. It will also recommend the lowest fare option based on the desired destination.

The additions are the part of MTR Corporation’s Rail Generation 2.0 programme, a blueprint for future rail development in the city. They will be launched on September 4 in the city’s largest station, Admiralty.

If successful, the new version of the app will expand to other large stations.

“Customers are expecting service to be a bit more personalised although they are taking a mass transit”, said Ms Jeny Yeung, commercial director of MTR Corp.

“Under Rail Gen 2.0, apart from major asset upgrades such as purchasing new trains and upgrading signalling systems, we endeavour to deliver satisfying MTR journeys to our customers all the time. With new technology, we want to provide more personalised information and service to our customers,” she said.

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The app, originally launched in 2010 and with 3.3 million downloads to date, has also improved its traffic news feature, adding real-time information using green, yellow and red icons to indicate a line’s service status. It currently only provides specific updates after an incident.

The MTR’s app collaborated with transport app Citymapper to give alternative transport options when there are issues with the trains. Customers “don’t have to log out of our app and into another app, so the linkage is giving them even more convenience, because we know during incidents passengers want quick information,” said Yeung.

“Hopefully there will be more to come to provide more capabilities and functions through mobile phone to make the journeys of the MTR experience even better than before.”