MTA subway sign at night

Weekend round-up

Some stories you may have missed last week: MTA chairman looks for more positive tweets, Ford acquires TransLoc and Autonomic, and Dutch Railways supports love connections.

Yet another general manager is seeking more Twitter love from commuters.  First it was MBTA general manager Luis Ramirez who expressed his frustration with rider complaints about snow-related service issues. Now, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NY) chairman Joe Lhota acknowledged the relationship between service quality and Twitter complaints. “To determine success, obviously I would love to be able to see Twitter feeds be a little bit more positive than they are,” he said in a budget hearing. “What we need to do is get to a situation where there are minimal to no delays.” Link to full story in New York Daily News.

The Ford Motor Company acquired two companies to support its mobility services: TransLoc and Autonomic. TransLoc provides demand-response technology for micro-transit solutions, while Automatic specializes in scale, architecture, and leverage for transportation solutions. “We believe transportation done right – as part of a systems approach – can bring life back to our cities,” said Marcy Klevorn, president of Ford Mobility, in a statement.

Dutch Railways wants to help its commuters make connections — and not the service kind. The railroad hosts a Tumblr page called Hartkloppingen (“Heartbeats”) that helps passengers reconnect with people they met on the train.  Working like the “Missed Connections” section on Craiglist, the site features messages like this: “Everyday I get on Zwolle, and you get on in the city of Ladenstat. And everyday we look at each other, and when you get off the train at Amsterdam South sometimes you’ll say something — very softly — like a greeting. Should we maybe have conversation with each other sometime?” The service started on the printed page and moved online in 2008. Link to full story in NPR.

Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman

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