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Melbourne trains on Twitter

October 17, 2007 at 11:57 · Filed under tech, travel

Twitter Logo

I’m a twitter user, and this morning came across an enterprising web-site called Melbourne Transport. They use the twitter handle @MelbTransport to publish line and train alerts for Melbourne’s Connex train services. This appears to be the outcome of someones frustration with the dreadful SMS alerts services that Connex provide.

Connex SMS

Connex have their own SMS alert system, which states “From Monday to Friday, between 6am and 8pm, we provide instant text messaging to mobile phones with up-to-the-minute information on any train that is more than 15 minutes off schedule”. I have been signed up for about 12 months, and I rarely never get notified about ANY events, including hearing nothing about the double-whammy fatality/crossing incident disruption to Pakenham and Cranbourne lines yesterday, causing over 1.5 hours in delays

The Melbourne Transport idea allows users of the train system to give direct feedback stating on their site “if you see an issue you can broadcast it to all other MelbTransport followers either using a Direct message (private) or just tweet @MelbTransport”. Good idea!

A system like Melbourne Transport will work much better the more people participate. With only 19 people currently following, and the idea being new, unless they have some mechanism to get data from Connex they will need a much greater twitter following to make this work. Good luck to them.

Andrew said,

October 17, 2007 @ 16:09

This script kicks ass. I’ve been following it for a while now. I’m amazed at how many services Connex actually does cancel on a daily basis.

Michael Specht said,

October 17, 2007 @ 16:12

Hey glad you like the hack as it is my little site which I put together over a couple of evenings last week. It is a bit buggy and simple as I am not a real programmer.

To answer your question, yep I get data from Connex and republish it on Twitter. However right now all I am getting is general “The 08:16am service to the city on the Frankston line is canceled” I am looking for a way to give you station by station updates and some other ideas as well.

Yes the more people who use it the better, the whole network effect.

Johan said,

October 19, 2007 @ 07:16

This is great! finally there is a site where all the delays are on the one spot. Not like on that Connex ‘ticker’.

Does this also allow for SMS to be sent to phones like Connex? or is it just on the Twitter?

lantrix said,

October 20, 2007 @ 11:32

Yes I use it to receive SMS updates. This is a twitter function, so I activated SMS integration with my twitter account, then followed @MelbTransport, and turned on notifications for SMS – The added bonus is that from my phone I can send a message to twitter enabling and disabling the notifications.

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