Friday, October 31, 2008

Caltrain Twitter Holier than Caltrain


With each incident that causes a delay, we strive to improve our communications with our customers. For this incident, we used our public address and visual message systems at our stations. We also continued to update the media, posted information to our Web site and recorded a message on our Customer Service line. Some of these worked well; some will be refined to provide a better service in the future.

Caltrain Twitter

caltrain: NPR says all NB and SB trains suspended at San Mateo T06:11

caltrain: Trains stopped in both directions: SB 102 @ Burlingame, SB 104 @ Belmont and NB 103 @ Millbrae. No ETA to restore service. T06:45

I arrived at the train station at 6:43 and nobody had a clue other than "The trains are not running". I checked the twitter feed and knew quickly what was going on. Of course this information is coming from *Passengers* - not from Caltrain. Caltrain has the info, they just have far less capability than their passengers to disseminate it. OK, sure NPR had the info at 6:05 or so, but the people who need the information the most are in the train station not listening to their radios. The message boards had vague information, but when Brad and I got to Redwood City as mentioned before we knew exactly where the trains were from the twitter feed. A one horse operation should be able to get decent information on the message boards - or perhaps dispatch official information via .... ummm... Twitter?

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