Twitter Australia and Transport for NSW (or TfNSW) have partnered up together to keep Sydney’s transport users and visitors better informed about delays or disruptions while travelling on the suburban and intercity train network in NSW.

Basically how it works is that a twitter user such as myself for example, can sign up to receive the alerts by heading to @TfNSWAlerts on Twitter and tapping the Message button.

Once you have hit the message button, you are prompted to choose from 1 of 3 options which are, Lets Get Started, Learn more and Privacy. The first option is really the only choice to sign up for these Alerts. I do think the other 2 options should be moved elsewhere.

Once you have select option 1 – Let’s get started – you will then get a special unique link to sign up to the Alerts via Twitter DM. Basically the link takes you to an external mobile site and you are given the option via a drop menu to Select for both your morning and afternoon commute stations (to and from).

For example, I travel from Blacktown station anywhere between 8:30 am and 9:45 am and I travel to either Town Hall Station and change to continue on to Museum station to get to work or I would just go to to work from Town Hall station directly.

It would be the reverse for going home and you are given both the ability to choose your hop on and hop off destinations and both the times from which you will generally be travelling between.

Once you have selected your personal choices, you just hit ‘Save Alert” and you’re done basically. You will receive a follow up DM message from @TfNSWAlerts basically stating that your settings have been saved and based on those settings you will receive instant alert updates of any delays or disruptions which is fantastic.

This innovative new commuter experience on Twitter has been produced in collaboration with Australian developers @proxima_io and@AppJourney as part of Twitter’s ongoing commitment to Smart Cities.

We did reach out to Transport for NSW to gain further insight into the new service and what it means for the users at the end of the day, and we received further information from Transport for NSW Customer Services Deputy Secretary, Tony Braxton-Smith. Mr Braxton-Smith said:

This Australian-first pilot will allow train customers to receive personalised messages through Twitter letting them know if their daily journey is disrupted on the suburban and intercity networks, with any unnecessary disruption alerts filtered out.

Transport for NSW already segments Twitter by train line, but this service allows customers to provide more granular information about their journey. It means we can send more relevant messages directly to those customers.

We’re taking the next big step in transport and developing a way to speak directly to every customer, whether they commute from the Sutherland shire, the eastern suburbs or western Sydney.

We developed the Future Transport Technology Roadmap after extensive consultation with industry and identified a need to create a more personalised experience for our customers. The new Twitter automatic alerts pilot lays the groundwork for that future.

The Roadmap brings everything we earned together to shine a light on what improvements the future is likely to bring for public transport and roads customers.

It’s not just about imagining the future, but shaping it. The Roadmap outlines initiatives we can kick off right now that will help personalise and improve transport for our customers, no matter how technology develops over the next few years.

Transport for NSW is committed to delivering the best services to improve the customer experience. This initial trial lasting at least 3 months will focus on disruptions to the rail network, and if the technology is successful, we would look to expand it to other transport modes in the future.

Customers can still get information about disruptions through other channels such as following our Twitter accounts, and real time apps.

So if you’re a Sydney metro or intercity commuter and want to stay updated in regards to any delays or disruptions on your commute to and from work, then why not give @TfNSWAlerts a go today!

Developer: X Corp.
Price: Free
Source: Twitter Australia.