New Web site, emergency alerts key to CTA communications revamp
That's the easy part, dealing with planned service outages. But the CTA has had the biggest problems with unplanned outages, such as power outages or track fires that shut service.
At CTA Tattler's September Coffee with Ron, President Huberman admitted that signing people up for alerts is easy. "The challenge is at the control center to get the information out to riders. We have to translate our jargon to useable information."
Huberman's plan to do that is to dispatch two teams of employees by van with all the latest info to strategic locations anytime a major, unplanned service outage occurs. Those teams will help get out the latest information via the new Emergency Alerts program, set to launch in early 2009.
The CTA also will count on a revamped Web site to communicate with riders during emergencies. At our coffee last month, we got a preview of the new site, set to launch before the end of the year. It has a crisp, clean look, and a nicely organized home page with what appears to be a user interface with great utility. There will be links with real-time info on troubled train and bus lines, similar to what we now see at Boston's MBTA site.
These are great ideas. We'll be anxious to see how the CTA does at executing them.