Social Media Didn’t Cut it for SORTA to Reach Commuters in Real Time
When the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), which serves the Cincinnati area, needed to get the word out about delays, interruptions, or detours, they relied heavily on Twitter. But in a system that provides 14 million rides annually, service issues pop up all the time—so anyone following the account was bombarded with hundreds of daily alerts about routes they didn’t ride. A scan of their Twitter feed would give the impression that this was a transit system in crisis.
There’s a Better Way to Reach Riders
SORTA officials wanted to provide SMS and email alerts so riders would be able to quickly find out if their bus was delayed or detoured, so in April 2017 they launched Cincy EZAlerts. Under the new system, a bus driver that runs into an issue on the road calls the dispatch center and receive instructions on what to do. Then, dispatch alerts all riders with an EZAlert through the Granicus govDelivery communications tool.
Enhanced Citizen Experience Thanks to Quick SMS Alerts
With Cincy EZAlerts, SORTA is able to quickly inform riders of delays, detours, and other issues within minutes—sent directly to their mobile devices. Riders are clearly interested, with a combined 350,000 email and text message recipients. And while delays remain in a large transit system, officials report fewer messages from people asking, “Where’s my bus?”