The Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) introduced three new Twitter feeds to better meet the needs of its passengers.
Starting today, service information for bus and rail will move off of WMATA's main Twitter account (@wmata) into two separate feeds — @metrorailinfo and @metrobusinfo — with service information from Metro's operations control centers via the MetroAlerts system.
MetroAlerts is Metro's free subscription service that notifies riders via email or text message about detours, track work, delays or other events that could affect their travel. MetroAlerts ensures that riders receive fast and accurate information across a broad spectrum of communication channels, including Metro's desktop and mobile websites, partner websites, Google Maps, third-party apps, in-station digital screens, NextBus, RSS feeds, social media, email and text messages.
Previously, all Metro information — from news releases to schedule changes, delays and detours — was provided on a single Twitter feed. By separating the feeds, riders can follow the accounts that interest them and reduce the number of Metro-related tweets they receive.
The new bus and rail service feeds will carry all MetroAlerts updates regarding service changes, detours and delays. On Metrorail, alerts are issued for delays of 10 minutes or more at any hour, seven days a week. For Metrobus, alerts are issued from the Bus Operations Control Center on weekdays between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. Supplemental two-way customer support will be provided on both feeds Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Metro's main Twitter feed @wmata will continue to carry general information, including news releases, major announcements, new initiatives, and destination promotions.
Also today, Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik introduced MTPD's own Twitter feed, @MetroTransitPD. The feed will provide crime prevention tips and updates on investigations as appropriate.
Metro's Twitter following has grown more than seven-fold since the agency began a new, more interactive social media approach in mid-2011. The @wmata account has more than 47,000 followers and adds an average of 50 new followers each day. It is the second largest Twitter feed of any transit agency in the nation and has one of the highest Klout scores among large systems.