The buzzing sound of murmuring voices in the train builds up to a mix of conversations. Often when the train gets stuck, you can, among the noise, hear a commuter trying to tell his/her boss that they are going to be late for work that day. Calling in, of course, only works for those who have the airtime to call.
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GoMetro, the public transport app, is trying to make this process a lot easier for commuters by introducing a new feature called Email My Boss. The feature allows commuters who are stuck on a delayed train to send an email to their bosses with an explanation — even when they do not have access to the internet. It also works across all mobile devices.
GoMetro CEO Justin Coetzee explains the thinking behind this feature: “Every time there is a delay or disruption to trains in the Western Cape, workers who are late need to stand in long queues in order to receive letters to give their employers in order not to receive written warnings. GoMetro has solved that pain-point today by quickly generating a late note from their mobile phones.”
Via the GoMetro app, users can be kept updated about line changes and delays but until now, the process has only been keeping commuters in the loop and not their employers.
The new feature will not keep employers abreast in exactly the same way it does its users on the app, GoMetro Community Manager Marnus Lottering points out: “The service is not intended to send employers a daily email with general train delay information,” he says. “Every email an employer receives is an individual request made by an employee at that particular time to send an individual email.”
It is not clear how employers can verify the authenticity of the email from their employees, although given the information GoMetro has at its disposal, perhaps that’s something it’ll be able to work on.
For now, the service is only available to GoMetro users in the Western Cape, with the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal offering set to go live in the next few weeks.
Commuters can access this service by clicking on the Email My Boss button in GoMetro.co.za or by dialing *120*4668#.