ITS DYNAMITE! Sadly this is not a post about those guys lol
Over the past year and a half that I have been an operator for HART I have learned quite about the transit world. One that I find most interesting is the happy marriage of Twitter and Transit. Many agencies, passengers, and transit advocates have found the speed and portability of Twitter to be invaluable. The speed at which information can be shared these days is phenomenal and Twitter makes it much easier, more portable, and simplified (with a 140 character limit). Ideas a shared by simply posting a link to a story, blog, or video.
As a passenger you can follow your local transit agency, make a complaint or compliment and in most cases you’ll get a response from the moderator almost instantly. One of the best things about this form of passenger/agency interaction is that it gives the passenger a feeling that they are being listened to, something a traditional call to customer service cannot usually provide. Passengers can also receive valuable, time-sensitive information relating to detours, scheduling issues, or route changes that traditional delivery methods would not get the information to them quickly enough.
Transit agencies themselves can use Twitter as a free way of gathering passenger feelings about a new service or pinpointing an issue with specific service that could benefit from some tweaking. They can retrieve valuable unfiltered feedback from passengers about a proposed schedule change or service removal and gauge what to do from there based on the reaction from the riding public. Similar to traditional surveys they can start the conversation by posting a question for their followers and then sit back and let the responses come back. The major difference between a “twitter poll” and a survey is that people WANT to Tweet and most don’t want to stop what they are doing to fill out a survey. In this form, not only do you get the feedback you want, you get the it unfiltered.
TransitGeeks/Nerds/Advocates (pick all that apply) benefit from Twitter as well. If you are a blogger(moi) you can easily share your blog with countless people by just posting a short-link for your blog along with a blurb to get people to click on it. Maybe you are an advocate and you need to drum up support for pending legislation in your region you use Twitter to reach fellow activists and start a “grassroots” campaign for said legislation.
Twitter can be used for any number of tasks, and when it comes to transit it has shown real potentional a staying power as a valuable tool for Transit agencies, passengers and their supporters for a long time to come.
Here are some people I suggest you follow!
There are many many MANY more. Browse through any of the Tweeters followers and you’ll find a plethora of interesting transit people, and don’t forget to follow me if you already haven’t! @yobusdriver3507