On Thursday, Transport for London and Twitter announced that they’d joined forces to produce travel alerts on Twitter. A Twiffle, if you will.
Only people using the Central and District lines, London Overground and TfL Rail will benefit from it for now, but further improvements are planned.
It’s actually not a bad idea at all.
TfL’s service updates on its website are notoriously rubbish – consider how many times you’ve been stuck in a tunnel or trying to force your way onto an overcrowded train because there’s a 17 minute wait for the next one, while TfL insists that there’s a good service on all lines.
You can follow the Twitter accounts for the individual lines, but they’re a bit hit and miss and you have to speand ages trawling through your timeline to find any announcements.
To opt-in for the new service, you visit http://tfl.gov.uk/twitter-alerts and choose whichever line you’re interested in. You can then tailor the notifications to cover specific times and hopefully, if there’s a signal failure at, say, Mile End, a direct message will pop up on your phone to let you know in time to take avoiding action.
TfL will be assessing feedback on the new service over the summer and if it’s successful, it could be extended to other lines and used to alert motorists of disruption on the roads.
Dara Nasr, managing director of Twitter UK, said:
“Twitter is used by millions of Londoners every day to get live travel updates. We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with TfL to make it more simple and convenient for commuters to receive important news about their journey. Up to the minute information around severe disruption is a daily must-have for everyone, and the live nature of Twitter is the perfect companion for this.”
It should definitely be called a Twiffle.