Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When the T steps in it, what happens on Twitter

Not 10 minutes after I got in to the office today, word came out that there was a power problem on the Green Line, and the Red Line was in rough shape. This is a fine example that 44-year-old trains in 110-year-old tunnels need some investment. Next thing we knew, there were 30 minute wait for Red Line trains (scheduled headway: 4 minutes) and the Green Line was shut down at the peak of rush hour with inadequate bus replacement.

I was interested in looking at pictures from the junkshow, while sitting in a heated environment. And I realized that the number of Tweets tagged #MBTA was increasing. Starting at 8 a.m., the number of tweets per minute went from 3 per minute screaming up to triple that amount by 9 a.m. The tweets then leveled off and fell back. The Green Line was still shut down (it didn't open until after 11:00) but the Red Line had recovered and the rush hour crunch had dissipated. Not much to comment on here, just a quick look at what happens to Twitter when two thirds of the MBTA's ridership is affected by broken-down trains on a cold, cold morning.

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