112508mtatext.jpgAt a press conference this morning, MTA executive Elliot Sander announced a "major initiative" that will enable the authority to let riders know how hard their commutes are going to suck with text messaging and email alerts in real time. The MTA has been working toward a real-time update system for several years now, starting out with weekly email updates and sporadic advisories on their website. In a statement, Sander said, "This is a revolutionary step that has the potential to transform the experience our customers have with us."

Starting today, riders can sign up to receive emails and text messages about "planned and unplanned service changes about any combination of subway lines, bus routes, rail lines, bridges or tunnels. They can choose to receive them 24/7, or only during a particular time of day or week. The system will use an email transmission technology called Distributed Processing, giving it the capability of sending out up to a million messages every five minutes."

The MTA says the new service costs them $10,000 per month under a partnership with MIS Sciences Corporation, and includes an unlimited volume of emails and text messages. So expect these updates to come as frequently as messages from a trigger-happy texting tween pecking, "U UP? LMFAO @ G Trane MOFOS!!!" Sign up here to join the fun.