Translink has been running a trial launch for their Twitter service in which they Tweet updates and respond to inquiries. I like this service, in one instance they tried to help me make the last train on time, it would have worked wonderfully if I had remembered in my slightly inebriated state to tell them where I was and where I wanted to go. I made the train nonetheless.
Another handy tool is that they update riders with reroutes due to accidents, power failures and as I saw today, weather. Let me explain…
I woke up today to the winter wonderland that I scoffed at last night when my phone warned me of snow. Adapting to the situation I left the house early to catch my bus. After waiting 10 minutes, I figured that even though the roads were slushy the bus arrived even earlier than I did and was already gone. I debated whether I should change stops since those buses ran much more frequently. I decided to stay put since the next bus should be along sooner.
To waste time I took out my phone and checked Twitter only to find that my bus wasn’t running it’s normal route because of the conditions. Awesome. I’ve now wasted 20 minutes waiting for a bus that isn’t coming.
I then did what any normal person would do, I went to the next bus stop where alternate routes are running. I felt good knowing that I had information that others waiting didn’t have. And then I felt bad, because what do people without mobile web do? Who will tell the old ladies that are waiting in the cold? I tried but they didn’t want to listen to me.
And why would they listen to me? I’m the girl that took off for a different route only to have a bus pass me by after I walked away. Here I was, between two different stops and the bus that the Twitter team told me wouldn’t be coming came and it was far too slippery to go running back to the stop. I guess the driver hadn’t gotten the Twitter update.
This raises the question of whether it’s better to be over-informed or not? If I hadn’t been reading the Twitter I probably would have waited a bit longer assuming the next bus would be on it’s way and then probably wouldn’t have been so late for work. But, if they really weren’t running buses down that street I was able to adjust accordingly whereas the old ladies wouldn’t know and would probably still waiting for that bus.
Opinions? Ever had a problem with the Tweets giving you the wrong information? Would you rather be overinformed or kept in the dark?