#NorthBayTransit Picks Up Transit Agencies' Slack

If our transit agencies won't communicate with riders, then it's up to riders to tell each other when a problem comes up.

I’ve publically berated Golden Gate Transit for ignoring its Twitter accounts, leaving riders in the dark about service changes, enhancements, bus bridges, late buses, full ferries, and everything else a rider needs to know. Sonoma County Transit is worse, as it has no social media presence whatsoever. Well, it’s time to change that.

As of last week, #NorthBayTransit will fill the gap for transit users in Sonoma and Marin. Schedule changes, stop changes, announcements, and all the rest will have this hashtag attached. It will transcend operator, so all eight transit agencies in the region (nine if you count GGT’s buses and ferries separately, ten if you include SMART) will have a one-stop-shop for all transit information.

The idea was birthed on Twitter with @mikesonn, while we complained about GGT’s press release-heavy communication style. They've started to tweet some of their releases but not much else. He asked that I keep him in the loop about what was happening, and I wondered whether I should keep everyone in the loop. I did what I could during the BART fire, but I would need help to do something more. I needed a hashtag so people could tweet information on their own, and #NorthBayTransit was born.

Since I’m not on the ground in the North Bay, @mikesonn offered to keep an eye out for unannounced changes in San Francisco. John Murphy (@murphstahoe) will tweet about issues in Sonoma. Meanwhile, I’ll get out whatever I can whenever I see it and push transit agencies to adopt the hashtag.

But we can’t do this on our own. We need your help to keep the feed up to date and active. If you see a problem, get bumped from a ferry, or just had a really awful - or perhaps wonderful - transit day, tag it. Retweet the agency feeds when they actually write something and tag those, too. @caltrain, a Twitter account updated by users, only works as well as it does because of the dedication of riders. You, the North Bay’s transit ridership, are the key to success.

I’ll see you on Twitter.


A version of this piece originally appeared on The Greater Marin. Follow David on Twitter @theGreaterMarin.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David Edmondson August 29, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Actually, I do want to applaud GGT for their efforts. It would be better to do something like Santa Rosa City Bus, which tweets bus delays and cancellations, but releases are coming out fast and easy and are even directly linked sometimes. Keep it coming! Now, Marin Transit on the other hand...
David Edmondson August 30, 2012 at 05:49 PM
I take it back. Two bus stop closures were never alerted to anyone, leaving riders high and dry. Get your act together, GGT.


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