Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems. Topic SB-20. Proactive Use of Social Media in Public Transportation

Many transit agencies have begun to incorporate social media platforms into their marketing and communications strategies. The specifics vary, but platforms typically include blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr. Goals for using these communication channels may include: (1)Reaching customers who do not use traditional sources to access government information, (2) Providing a higher level of customer service, (3) Obtaining feedback from customers on service and programs, (4) Strengthening, the agency's branding and messaging, and (5) Developing stronger community connections. However, social networking applications may pose specific challenges for transit agencies. These may include: (1) Resource requirements - Although the applications themselves are usually free, agencies need to decide how to dedicate staff resources to developing content and managing online communications, (2) Cyber-security - Many information technology professionals have expressed concerns about vulnerability to cyber-attacks, including viruses and hacking, (3) Legal concerns - The legal system has not yet caught up with the widespread use of social networking applications by public agencies, (4) Accessibility for people with disabilities - Does Section 508 accessibility requirements apply to applications like Flickr? Can readers using keyboard navigation or screen readers access Facebook or does YouTube videos have to be captioned?  A synthesis will explore these issues and document successful practice about how to get the greatest value from social networking applications for staffers who want to develop or enhance social media applications at their own agencies. A literature review, survey of appropriate stakeholders, and detailed case studies/profiles will be accomplished to document the state of practice, including lessons learned and gaps in information.<div></div>


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-07, Topic

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Vlasak, Donna

  • Performing Organizations:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Start Date: 20100701
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26603

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463895
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-07, Topic
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:32PM