8 essential transit agency blogs

Vancouver's Buzzer Blog is an example of a transit agency doing great work in online outreach.

Vancouver's Buzzer Blog is an example of a transit agency doing great work in online outreach.

Next up in our series of essential transportation links on the web: other transit agencies that are blogging.

Although agency blogging is still in its infancy, Metro is not alone in the endeavor. In fact, some of the blogs here served as inspiration for The Source and continue to do so as we move forward. Peruse these blogs not just to see how they compare to The Source (let us know if you see something you’d like us to be doing, just remember our “no comments” policy is not likely to budge anytime soon) but also to get an idea of what other cities and agencies are dealing with and how they are going about addressing the challenges of transportation in the 21st century.

  • The Buzzer Blog (Vancouver TransLink) – http://buzzer.translink.ca
    Vancouver’s TransLink runs one of the most robust agency blogs of them all. Started in 2008 as a companion to the popular Buzzer newsletter, a print publication that has been part of Vancouver public transit since 1916, the blog has taken on a life of its own. Jhenifer Pabilano, a car-free writer and designer, is the main blogger for The Buzzer Blog and she updates daily with transit news, links, history, service alerts, surveys and more. Posts are peppered with great photographs and smartly designed charts and graphics which make the blog a pleasure to look at. What’s more, The Buzzer Blog lets readers comment on every post and Jhenifer is always quick to respond. All of this makes for a very informative agency blog that actively engages readers.
  • Next Stop STL (Metro St. Louis) – http://www.nextstopstl.org
    Metro St. Louis runs a great agency blog that has been around since June of 2009. The blog is run by a team of employees from different departments in the agency, each offering their unique perspectives on transit issues. Postings fall under seven categories: Alternative Transporation, Funding Transit, Inside Metro, Metro Riders, Moving Transit Forward, Transit Benefits, and Transit Lifestyle. Multiple posts every week keep the content fresh. Public comments are welcome but are moderated under guidelines set out in a comments policy.
  • Capital MetroBlog (Austin Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority) – http://capmetroblog.com/
    Austin’s Capital MetroBlog is frequently updated, sometimes multiple times a day, with fresh news on what’s happening with the agency along with lifestyle stories about riders and events. Austin has just opened its first light rail line and the coverage has been heavily focused on that – and understandably so. The blog also features a vibrant commenting community.

Five more agencies that blog, including two in Southern California, after the jump.

  • SFBART’s blog (Bay Area Rapid Transit) – http://sfbart.posterous.com/
    News, photos, videos and events make up the content of BART’s simple but informative blog. Many times postings consist of nothing more than a photo or video, but there are also many feature length stories that delve deeper into agency and lifestyle issues. Posting is relatively frequent and comments are welcome – as long as they adhere to the reasonable comment policy.
  • Mile-by-Mile (Orange County Transportation Authority) – http://mile-by-mile.blogspot.com/
    OCTA’s Ted Nguyen, who is a force to be reckoned with on Twitter, runs the Mile-by-Mile blog. Posting is infrequent (unlike Ted’s Twitter) but filled with pictures and video informing readers about the agency and its social media outreach plans. Comments are welcome, but it seems most readers don’t take advantage of that fact.
  • Metrolinkhttp://www.metrolinktrains.blogspot.com/
    Metrolink’s blog has been around since November of last year, but they’ve recently ramped up posting and it’s starting to become a useful spot for Metrolink info. A posting about a recent collision shows how the agency is attempting to use the blog as a source for transparent and open communication with its customers – who are free to comment on every post.
  • Santa Rosa CityBus (Santa Rosa, CA) – http://santarosacitybus.blogspot.com/
    It’s nice to see a small agency blogging to its customers and that’s just what Santa Rosa City Bus is doing. While the posting is infrequent, it’s there and public comments are welcome.
  • Write On Metro (Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority) – http://blogs.ridemetro.org/
    Write On Metro has been agency blogging since January of 2007 (!) and is still posting frequently in 2010. Posting about agency issues, general transportation news and lifestyle issues keeps the blog heavy on readable content – even if it suffers a bit on the style side. Comments are welcome and the community is active, and Write On Metro’s blogger can often be found responding in comment threads.

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