London’s Tube and train passengers can now get instant travel tweet alerts about delays sent straight to their phones, in what is being described as a world first.
Transport for London (TfL) and Twitter began piloting the service on Thursday, whereby customers will be alerted of severe delays on key London Underground and TfL rail services as soon as they occur.
It will allow anyone who follows any combination of four existing TfL Twitter feeds to be able to opt-in to receive instant notifications about severe disruption.
Currently, obtaining live travel information via Twitter means the user either having to visit the relevant official Twitter account or searching through their personal timeline to find the latest travel tweets.
The new scheme allows TfL travel service notifications to be sent directly to users’ mobile devices or to their computer as an instant message.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "Like every Londoner I rely on public transport to get me around and this world-first service looks set to become an essential tool for millions of Tube passengers.
"It is an innovative way of providing people with live updates from the Underground and contributes to my goal of making it as easy as possible to get around the capital."
This is the first time that Twitter has partnered with a transport authority to provide live travel information in this way.
To opt in, users simply visit http://tfl.gov.uk/twitter-alerts and select the lines for which they would like information.
This collaboration with TfL follows another recent announcement from Twitter, in which the social media platform implied that it intends to stop including photos and links as part of the strict 140-character limit per tweet. This will enable users to be more flexible and effusive in their writing.