CTA to update riders via Facebook and Twitter

Audrey Cheng

The Chicago Transit Authority launched a Facebook page and Twitter feed Tuesday in an attempt to meet customers’ demands for live updates on transportation service.

CTA leaders said they believe a social media presence will enhance customer service, according to a news release issued Wednesday. By tweeting @CTA, customers can issue complaints and receive feedback from the CTA customer service group.

“We understand it’s important that our customers are informed, and we want them to know that we’re listening,” CTA president Forrest Claypool said in the news release. “It’s our hope that through these new online tools that we are able to gain a better picture of who our customers and also join in a conversation about what’s working and what’s not.”

That feedback will enrich customer-agency interaction and promote more effective service, the news release stated.

Customers also can receive live updates through text or email on any unexpected events affecting service.

They can also customize preferences for the amount or type of updates they want to obtain.

The CTA’s new innovations represent an effective use of social media, Medill sophomore Shayna Starr said.

“It’s definitely helpful,” said Starr, who rides the El twice a week to volunteer for Jumpstart. “There are a lot of times when I’m running back from my job, and I want to know if I have time to casually walk to the bus stop or if I have to sprint.”

Medill sophomore Hillary Hafke, who also rides the El at least twice a week, said she would utilize the mobile updates if she has the freedom to choose the information she receives.

“I would just get nervous about over-usage of that kind of communication,” Hafke said, “because a lot of time I don’t even check Twitter or my email because I feel like I’m getting too much information and not all of it is valuable to me.”

As of Tuesday evening, about 1,300 people followed the CTA on Twitter and more than 175 Facebook users ‘liked’ the CTA’s fan page.

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