Wireless alerts get real-time CTA info to the masses
Last night during the height of the rush hour, Cheryl wrote a comment on an unrelated post, alerting us to the train fire that shut the Brown and Purple Lines. She lamented that she didn't know how to share that info with us:
"We really need somewhere here to post alerts. Right now the Brown and Purple Lines are only running north of Belmont. There's a fire on the tracks near Sedgwick. I wanted to let people here know about this, but I don't really know where to put it."
Well Cheryl, your wish is my command. We've set up a wireless notification group. That's where you post these types of alerts.
Dan noted in his comment: "The amazing thing about this thread is that there is so much detailed, custom information in it that could have been useful yesterday but wasn't shared until it was too late/ not useful anymore. It got me to thinking about how cool it would be if everyone here could have shared their info immediately -- from the platform or bus -- with other interested people. Delivering way better information than the garbled speakers and intransigent CTA employees."
When you join the CTA Alerts group, you can send and receive text messages from your cell phone, PDA or email account to everyone else in the group -- sharing what you know when you know it, in real time.
So that's a solution that Cheryl was looking for. And I think we should give it a try. There already are four members including myself.
Some ground rules though:
- Don't send spam.
- Make sure they are truly alerts, like a train lines is out of service, or there's a delay because of a medical emergency.
- Be specific with info but brief. Your message can be just 120 characters/spaces in length. That's just 15-20 short words.
What do you think?