OC Transpo will no longer tweet bus cancellations

OC Transpo will no longer be posting bus cancellations automatically on Twitter because of the social media company’s new fees for access to certain tools.

The @OCTranspoLive Twitter account would regularly tweet route cancellations throughout the day, informing followers of when the next scheduled bus would be coming. Earlier this year, Twitter made changes to its application programming interface (API) which limited functionality to users who don’t pay a monthly fee. For commercial-level access, it would cost users $42,000 USD per month, which Transit Services General Manager Renée Amilcar says OC Transpo cannot afford.

“While some customers may have used the previous Twitter accounts to find changes to their specific bus trips, this is no longer possible. Twitter has introduced new pricing to access certain features of their platform, which would add a cost of approximately $675,600 per year to continue to post specific trip information,” she said in a memo to city councillors Monday.

Instead, @OCTranspoLive has been rebranded to @OC_TranspoHelps (and @OC_TranspoAide in French). Amilcar said customer service representatives who are “empowered to quickly respond to customer inquiries and provide support” would manage the account.

“Detours, major disruptions, and other important service alerts will continue to be shared on these accounts. This complements OC Transpo’s organizational account, @OC_Transpo, which provides system-wide updates and general information for customers, such as links to the Next Stop Blog posts,” Amilcar wrote.

OC Transpo has been on Twitter since 2010, but has faced criticism for its communication strategy in recent years, particularly since the launch of the Confederation Line LRT, which has experienced countless problems since 2019. Amilcar says this change to OC Transpo’s Twitter presence is only part of a broader plan to improve communications with customers.

Specific bus trip information is still available on OC Transpo’s website.

Amilcar said more information about OC Transpo’s upcoming real-time data project will be presented to the transit commission on May 11.

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