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February 9, 2022, 07:02

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Photo by Y. Ivanko. Mos.ru

You can communicate with the virtual operator on the metro website and in the Moscow Metro mobile app, as well as in instant messengers and on the metro’s page on the VKontakte social network.

One million – exactly the same number of answers for the entire time of her work provided by Alexandra, the chat bot of the Moscow metro. The virtual assistant started working in November 2020. She is ready to help users around the clock, without holidays and weekends. In a matter of seconds, Alexandra will help you fill out an application for escort, explain how to top up the Troika transport card, and tell you about all the variety of fares in Moscow and how to pay for the fare.

Alexandra has become an indispensable consultant for passengers of the capital’s transport.

What to ask a robo-advisor

Before the start of the virtual operator, passengers had to call the contact center every time or visit the Moscow Transport service centers if they had any questions. Reference information could also be obtained at the “Live Communication” counters, which are located at the subway stations. However, not all passengers are comfortable with these methods. It is not possible to call, for example, on the road or during a meeting, and in order to get to the service center or reach the desired counter, it will take extra time. In addition, the period for consideration of written applications is up to 30 working days.

Moscow is one of the largest megacities in the world, where every minute is important for citizens. The metropolitan transport needed a solution that allowed residents to find out the answer to a question at any time of the day, just by making a few clicks on a smartphone or computer. The solution was the chatbot.

The virtual operator was named after the friendly station attendant Alexandra. This was decided by the participants in the voting in the Active Citizen project, which took place in the summer of 2020. You can ask Alexandra a question on the websites metropolitan subway and Mosgortrans, in the Moscow Metro mobile application. To start a conversation, click on the chat icon. She also consults on WhatsApp (+7 495 555-32-10), telegram channel @transport_mos_bot and on the social network “In contact with”.

Alexandra will come to the rescue if there is a question about the operation of the metro, the Moscow Central Ring (MCC), Moscow Central Diameters (MCD), trams. Recently, she began to advise passengers on land transport in a test mode. Alexandra is a highly trained specialist: she will tell you how to top up a Troika card, fares and payment methods. If a section of the metro is temporarily closed or the organization of traffic changes, Alexandra will immediately report this and select detour routes. She will help you find things forgotten in transport, draw up an application for escort by inspectors of the Passenger Mobility Center, send a schedule of trains, buses, trams and electric buses. Soon it will be possible to ask her where the car was towed, which streets are included in the paid parking zone, and what is the traffic congestion right now. Alexandra will start accepting an application for a broken traffic light or a broken road sign.

The knowledge base of the online assistant includes more than two thousand answers. The average time to provide information is one second. In more complex or specific situations that require searching for information in databases, the question is transferred to ordinary operators. Alexandra’s team, as a rule, solves the problem on the same day. She herself is constantly learning and expanding her capabilities.

What is Alexandra most often asked about?

In honor of the one million answers provided by the virtual assistant, the Moscow Metro named the five most popular user questions. The question “Is it possible to top up Troika via the Internet?” became the leader. Alexandra answers it in as much detail as possible. For example, you can top up your transport card balance remotely and without commission in your personal accounts on the website and in the Metro mobile app, in the Services section of the Moscow State Services mobile app. It is important to remember, Alexandra adds, that after replenishment, you will need to write down funds to Troika, otherwise the ticket will not work at the turnstile. She will also tell you how to do this.

The second place in the rating was occupied by the question “How fast is the receipt of funds for Troika?”. If you put money on the card in the terminal or at the cashier – instantly, the chatbot will say. And in case of remote replenishment, the deposited funds again need to be activated.

Why was the station closed? This is the third most popular question. It is set when any of the sections or stations of the Moscow metro are closed for repairs. Alexandra will tell you the timing and reasons for the closure. Also, netizens often ask what the subway schedule is like. The personal assistant will specify that the metropolitan subway and the MCC are open for passengers every day from 05:30 to 01:00. Closes the top question “How to transfer the balance between the “Threes”?”. In this case, Alexandra will first of all figure out where it is necessary to transfer funds or services: in the Moscow Metro application or, perhaps, in a service center? Depending on the passenger’s response, the virtual operator will send the appropriate instructions.

What has the Moscow Metro achieved in recent years?

The creation of a chatbot has become just one of the important achievements of the Moscow metro in recent years. At the forefront of the subway is ensuring the comfort of passengers and the development of digital technologies. Since 2016, 134 metro, MCC and MCD stations have been opened. In 2022, the construction of the Big Circle Line will be completed, in 2023 the Vnukovo metro station on the territory of the airport of the same name will start operating, in 2024 the first section of the Troitskaya Line will be completed. The metro will also appear in the Severny district. Passengers are transported by new trains, for example, Moscow-2020.

In October last year, the contactless payment service Face Pay was organized at all metro stations. It allows you to pay for travel using a face recognition system without putting a travel card, bank card or phone on the turnstile. To pay for the fare, just go to the turnstile, in front of which there is a black round sticker on the floor, and look into the camera. The system will recognize the passenger within one or two seconds, after which the turnstile will open. You can learn about other achievements of the Moscow metro in the material mos.ru.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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