Observant visitors to Metro.net no doubt noticed something new on the homepage. Metro communications staff has quietly rolled out a new system for getting service alerts and system status updates out to customers via a new Twitter account: @metroLAalerts.
Be aware, however, the system is currently in the “beta” stage and Metro staff are working on coming up with best practices to ensure the service provides customers with the information they need, when they need it.
The agency has struggled to find the best platform to alert riders when there’s a problem with bus or rail service. For the most part, Metro has frequently tried to inform the masses through traditional media when there’s a big issue with service.
But updates to Metro’s website — including The Source — have been inconsistent and it remains unclear how many Metro customers know to look or have the ability to look at the website in real time, particularly when using the Metro system. There is also this issue: it will only work if someone at Metro is always responsible for updating it in real time.
Metro already has a Twitter account for general information, @MetroLosAngeles, but the new account will be used strictly for service updates. Twitter also has a mobile site that can be updated quickly on a smart phone.
A number of other transit agencies across the nation are currently using Twitter to communicate service updates with customers, and all of them have their own unique methods. After the jump is a list of links to the Twitter feeds of other agencies. Check them out let us know what you think works and what you’d like to see from the @MetroLAalerts feed by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twitter feeds from other agencies: