Commuting to Humber College can be difficult, especially for students living outside of the GTA.
Metrolinx, Ontario’s primary transportation agency in the region, wants to lessen the burden by expanding its online media presence through Twitter.
Metrolinx launched additional Twitter accounts to send real time updates for its Lakeshore East, Lakeshore West, Barrie, Milton, Stouffville, Kitchener and Richmond Hill GO Transit train lines.
The new accounts come after months of constant requests from its riders.
“We know it has been long overdue,” said Vanessa Barassa, a spokesperson for Metrolinx. “[The Twitter accounts] are here now and will provide any (notification of) delays or information regarding their respective line. The main account will continue to cover the GTA as well as the Hamilton area.”
Metrolinx was convinced to make the subsequent Twitter accounts after its main account, @GOtransit, was bombarded with personal messages from riders urging the transportation agency to make separate Twitter feeds for all its train lines.
The seven sub accounts launched Nov. 28 and have already amassed a significant following, with Lakeshore West leading the pack at nearly 1,000 followers.
“We’re not too concerned with the numbers, not when [the accounts are] days old,” Barassa said. “Our main [Twitter] accounts don’t have a lot of [followers] either but they relay urgent messages that are crucial to our company, so whether they’re high or low it doesn’t matter.”
Although Metrolinx’s main Twitter account @GOtransit has been operating since 2009, a handful of Humber students believe it focuses primarily on the Lakeshore West and East train lines, overshadowing the other five lines.
The added Twitter accounts have since abolished that problem, allowing GO Transit riders to properly be updated with their corresponding train lines without “having to look at the rest.”
“All I would see on the [GO Transit] page were status reports on the Lakeshore lines,” said Ricky Victorian, a Marketing Management student at Humber’s Lakeshore campus. “I shouldn’t have to scroll through dozens of tweets just to see if [my train line] is there.”
Victorian has been commuting from his hometown of Acton, a city between the Georgetown and Guelph stations, for the past two semesters using the GO’s Kitchener train line, and was relieved when he heard about the additional Twitter accounts.
“Yes, it’s going to save me a lot of time. Delays suck but hopefully I’ll know ahead of time now. The first thing I’m going to do is unfollow the [main GO Transit account],” he said. “My timeline is full enough already.”
Metrolinx has also introduced Twitter accounts for Its PRESTO division, and plans on creating another one for its GO Transit bus systems.