Thank you

This is just a quick post to say a big “thank you” to my #smrtcce case study team mates. (Not to be confused with “teamsters”.)

It’s been (and continues to be) a pleasure to work with Aaron, Ana and Tanya.

From our research strategies to Google Docs brainstorming, and everything in between, it’s been great fun using social media as a way of communicating and exploring.

I can’t wait to cross the finish line with you guys.

Readers: Stay tuned for the final product! In the meantime, you can check out some of our research (in the way of blog posts) on MTATranslink and STM transit systems.

 

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MTA — Transit in New York City

It’s been a while since my last few posts about GO Transit’s use of social media. Turns out, there will be a few more from me and a few classmates (Aaron, Ana and Tanya)!

The team and I decided we’d look at a few other, comparable major cities and their transit systems. This post will be a brief snapshot of how the Metropolitan Transit Authority (in New York City) uses social media.

image via MTA website

Website

MTA has a very similar website to GO Transit’s. Both post updates, governance information, a trip planner and customer-friendly information, for instance.

The advantage to the MTA website is a Service Status update. This section updates users with the different transit lines’ service assessments. As you can see in the image below, the application is divided into different sections such as subway, rail, bus, and bridges and tunnels. And then each transit line (depending on which category it falls under) gets its own little service rating. This application can be downloaded as a widget and shared via social media.

MTA Service Status screenshot

The team thinks that this application is something that could easily be adopted by GO Transit. It would be a simpler application for GO because it would only be divided into rail and bus, and each route under those headings would have its own service status posted.

Twitter and Facebook

MTA has a Twitter account (@MTAInsider). Here are a few of the Twitter account stats as of March 12, 2012:

  • ~21,000 Followers
  • Following ~100
  • ~2,000 tweets to date

The @MTAInsider tweets are similar to @GetontheGO tweets but the account user responds more to direct messages. So, instead of posting a generic “please contact a customer service representative,” the account users engage and then respond with more specific instructions.

The @MTAInsider profile clearly states that the Twitter account is not monitored 24-7.

MTA also has a Facebook page, which is very similar to GO Transit’s page.  MTA posts updates, people respond and use the page to comment (both negatively and positively) about service.

Goals

The team is focusing on GO Transit’s “Keeping you in the know” goal. With that in mind, I think we can take a few tips from how MTA does employs the use of social media. The company’s use of social media isn’t perfect, but maybe GO Transit can become a leader in its use and application of social media in Canada.

So far the team’s still in the research phase, using Google Docs and a few of the other tools at our disposal. Suggestions, and some more research to come!