#NorthBayTransit Picks Up the Slack

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. Why not also tweet a brief description and a link? He asked that I keep him in the loop about what was happening, and I wondered whether I should keep everyone in the loop. The easiest way to keep tweets on a subject is a hashtag, and #NorthBayTransit was born.

Since I’m not on the ground in the North Bay, he 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 have news to share, 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.