Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (Metro) has expanded its use of social networking tools with a new Twitter page where riders can sign up to get information about Metrorail service disruptions.
The brief messages, or tweets, are a quick and easy way for riders to get basic, yet immediate information about Metrorail service online or on their cell phones. Messages on Twitter are restricted to 140 characters. For example, a message may read, “Blue-Orange: Expect delays to New Carrollton and Largo Town Center due to emergency track maintenance at Cheverly station.”
Individuals must sign up to receive Metro tweets at www.twitter.com/metroopensdoors. The service is free to Web users. Customers who use SMS may incur text messaging charges from their phone service providers.
For Metro, Twitter provides another avenue to communicate with customers, reaching a segment of the Metro riding population who readily turn to portable electronic devices for information. Other ways for Metro riders to get information about Metro service, include the Website, MetroOpensdoors.com, and the subscription-based e-alert system.
Last month, Metro launched a Facebook page to communicate on a less formal platform with riders. The page includes RSS feeds with real-time information about Metrorail and Metrobus service disruptions, a discussion board, and information about upcoming events like scheduled track work and videos.