The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) launched its official CTA Facebook page and Twitter account (@CTA), which will be available to customers at transitchicago.com/social. The popular social media tools will be used to provide customers with timely service information, agency, and system news and photos as well as serve as a channel for the agency to engage in a conversation with its customers.
Also launching is the CTA Budget Ideas Board — an online feedback forum for the proposed 2012 budget — and the new CTA Updates, a subscription text/email service for customers to receive alerts on any unplanned events affecting service.
“We’ve long kept up with what people are saying about CTA on blogs and on Twitter, but haven’t been a part of that conversation until now,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “These social media tools help bridge the gap in communication between the CTA and customers. Customers now have the means to receive timely service information for any unplanned events and the agency now has the means to clarify what’s really happening and to address any issues or concerns that are ‘trending’ across our system.”
To receive timely information on any unplanned events affecting bus and rail service, customers will now have the option to sign up for the new CTA Updates, a subscription text/email service. Similar to the existing weekend and weekly planned service alerts subscription service, customer also will be able to customize when they receive alerts on unplanned service disruptions for the bus and/or rail routes they select. Customers can sign up for alerts regarding planned or unplanned events affecting service at transitchicago.com/updates.
Further, CTA also will use its new social media presence to supplement service alert information on weekdays during major incidents and will provide additional information to what is delivered through CTA Updates.
Customers should not depend exclusively on social media for official service alerts and updates as these are not supported by personnel 24/7 but be sure to sign up for CTA Updates. As always, customers can also check the alerts section of the CTA website (transitchicago.com/alerts) or call the customer service line.
“We understand it’s important that our customers are informed and we want them to know that we’re listening,” Claypool said. “It’s our hope that through these new online tools that we are able to gain a better picture of who our customers and also join in a conversation about what’s working and what’s not.”
For feedback on the proposed 2012 CTA Budget or to submit ideas on ways the CTA can further improve efficiency, performance or reduce costs, customers are asked to visit the new Budget Ideas Board at ctabudget.ideascale.com. The online forum allows customers to post their own ideas, which other visitors can comment and/or vote on by giving the idea either a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, with the best ideas appearing at the top of the forum.