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Petitioning ACTION to get on Twitter

By ACT Bus - 18 April 2011 11

action bus

We’re running a petition for ACTION Buses to start using Twitter in order to better communicate breakdowns and canceled services to patrons.

A Twitter account costs nothing to set up, could be advertised for free on the ACTION and TAMS websites and it would not be too difficult for somebody at the depot or radio room to quickly send a Tweet from their computer. With more and more people using smartphones, the service would be invaluable.

We’re sure there are other other practical uses for such a Twitter feed – if you have any please let us know and we’ll incorporate them when we send the petition in.

An example tweet “Route 313 from Tuggeranong at 7.32am has broken down. The next service departs 18 minutes later at all stops”

131500 Buses in Sydney are already running a similar service that has been quite well received.

You can sign the petition here. Thanks for your time 🙂

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Petitioning ACTION to get on Twitter
m_ratt 7:00 pm 18 Apr 11

How about an RSS feed with service announcements then? Even easier than Twitter on any phone worth it’s salt, would be available on networks where Twitter is not permitted and not reliant on any third party application or passing fad.

ACT Bus 6:02 pm 18 Apr 11

Thanks for the responses, and thanks also to those who have taken the time to sign.

johnboy – Thanks for publishing. The website is something that needs a lot of work. Unfortunately I think using that to run updates on late/canceled buses is too labor intensive – it would be far easier to insert a twitter feed on the site. The website is also not very phone-friendly (as sammy points out)

mikal – Service delivery figures (as a percentage) are generally covered in annual reporting already.

Spectra – we believe the cost and time involved would be minimal. Davo – task could easily be undertaken by existing staff

Keijidosha – Very good observation regarding ACTP. Being a 24/7 operation they obviously have more than one person operating the feed. No reason why ACTION cannot do the same.

Holden Caulfield – Agreed and I have used that example elsewhere.

By all means, keep the ideas and comments coming as we will put together a brief on these sorts of issues when we submit the petition. A twitter feed could easily be incorporated into the iPhone app TAMS are supposedly working on.

The whole idea is to make life easier for commuters – one comment on the petition gave a scenario of wondering if a bus is broken down or just late. By checking a Twitter feed the answer is at their fingertips. If broken down, they can see when the next one is, walk to another route nearby or go home and get the car. If it’s late, they know to stick around.

FioBla 3:49 pm 18 Apr 11

I think it is a reasonable idea, although as mentioned someone at Action needs to have that task of sending updates (which can be sent via smart phones, dumb phones (SMS), or web browser).

When we see it depends on whether the idea goes to the “adopt Myway” (fast queue) or “Google Maps Integration” (slow queue).

Keijidosha 2:43 pm 18 Apr 11

*grumble grumble* Twitter *grumble* fads *grumble grumble* kids these days…

Twitter is a perfect solution for this issue and involves zero cost outlay.
As pointed out, the dispatcher could be pumping out tweets between sips of coffee. Hardly a difficult or expensive exercise. ACT Traffic Police seem to have it worked out and their feed is timely and very useful.

puggy 2:07 pm 18 Apr 11

Davo111 said :

The problem is they would hire someone to sit there on the computer and send out tweets, rather than spending the money and addressing the issues.

If they have a proper fault logging system (knowing ACTION, it’s a big if), it could be almost automatic.

Davo111 1:46 pm 18 Apr 11

The problem is they would hire someone to sit there on the computer and send out tweets, rather than spending the money and addressing the issues.

Holden Caulfield 1:45 pm 18 Apr 11

Maybe the example tweet could read: ““Route 313 from Tuggeranong at 7.32am has broken down. The next service departs 18 minutes later, give or take 15 minutes, at all stops”

Sammy 1:24 pm 18 Apr 11

johnboy said :

Alternatively they could just keep their website up to date for much the same effect.

Bollocks. Checking a twitter feed using a phone over 3G is a two-second effort. Checking a website on the same is a downright pain.

Spectra 12:54 pm 18 Apr 11

johnboy said :

Alternatively they could just keep their website up to date for much the same effect.

Agreed. We already have a perfectly good system for disseminating information to the public – it’s called “the web”. We don’t need every company and institution to jump on every passing internet bandwagon and fad – they’ve got enough stuff to spend their time and money on.

mikal 12:51 pm 18 Apr 11

But if ACTION told you all the times they failed, you’d know that they fail all the time. I can’t see ACTION management agreeing to that.

johnboy 11:33 am 18 Apr 11

Alternatively they could just keep their website up to date for much the same effect.

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