The BART Twitter account wins the Internet amid system meltdowns


There’s a right way and a wrong way to run the social media account of a public entity. During this week’s BART disruptions, the agency’s Twitter account engaged in so much “the right way of doing things.” Gizmodo has the story:

“Last night, the person in charge of the official San Francisco BART Twitter account lost it. In 57 tweets, the account espoused truth and honesty, and pretty much admitted what everyone in the Bay Area already knows: the crumbling institution kinda sucks.”

We can sympathize! Here at @munidiaries and @bartdiaries, we probably see almost as many hateful public transit tweets as the poor soul who ran BART’s Twitter feed this week. Fortunately our only job here, as four riders blogging away in our living rooms, is to pick out the funniest rants and present them to you! The media found the guy who was running BART’s Twitter feed that night: Taylor Huckaby of @iwriterealgood.

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Thankfully for Huckaby, BART’s higher-ups approved of the rogue policy change. His boss commended him for “single-handedly” turning the tide of “pretty much abuse” into an actual conversation. “It was exciting to be able to start a conversation about infrastructure,” Huckaby says, “because infrastructure is just not sexy—unless something is broken or brand new.”

Even The New York Times is on it. They talked to Huckaby about his approach to social media for  BART:

His philosophical approach to social media runs counter to that of most government agencies, which he said use Twitter as a bullhorn.

“With the political climate, there’s a lot of focus right now on America’s crumbling infrastructure — why are our tax dollars not getting us anything; where’s our return on investment?” he said, explaining why he thought it was important for government to be responsive online.

Here are a few of the tweets from that evening:

People in other parts of the U.S. took notice and applauded BART’s openness and honesty through the crisis:

This one, from the Metro LA account, was especially awesome in its GIF-y solidarity:

Yes, we indeed need more openness and candid communication from public transit agencies. Hear that, @SFMTA_Muni?

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