The City of Hamilton and the HSR announced on Monday that a new automated Twitter account will launch on Wednesday. This new account will be the outlet for service alerts for the transit agency.
The format for the new automated account is similar to that of the Hamilton Fire Department which also sends out automated alerts from dispatch over Twitter through the account @HFD_Incidents.
The move is a step in the right direction for the transit agency, which has been beleaguered with issues of missing and cancelled buses in light of a manpower shortage. The automation of the new @HSRnow account should also alleviate some of the workload of the person responsible for social media to focus on customer service and not a steady stream of bus cancellations and updates.
The news also comes days after it was revealed that @HSR had blocked at least one citizen run Twitter account, which met with some backlash. The account was later unblocked without explanation.
While the account description for @HSRnow states that the account is not monitored, hopefully every automated tweet is tagged with @HSR. People will invariably reply to these service alerts and doing so will allow @HSR to be notified of replies.
@HSRnow launches on Wednesday.