UITP has always promoted the use of social media in public transport. In the age of new digital economy, Public Transport Operators (PTOs) need to engage social media tools. Social Media can truly be utilized by the public transportation industry to improve customer service, aid in transportation safety and improve the image of transit systems. Tactically, items like service alerts, polls/surveys on performance and availability, sharing awards on best performance, etc. are easy things to do to make social support your customer service. (Source: Jasmine Sandler)
Many PTOs around the world are using social media tools to engage with their customers. Some of interesting facts which PTOs cannot ignore:
- 65% of adults now use social networking sites. (Pew Research Center)
- 54% of millennials would like to see transportation options that ensure Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connectivity everywhere they go. (APTA)
- The millennial generation, which will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2018, chooses social media and internet/web chat as their first choice to contact a business. The telephone is their fifth choice. (Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends Report)
However it is equally interesting to see an example of Minister of Transport using social media tools, mainly Facebook and Twitter to reach out to public. Shri Swatantra Dev Singh, Hon'ble Minister of Transport, Government of Uttar Pradesh is one of the tech-savvy minister and extensively using Social Media to reach to people. He took oath as Minister of Transport on 19 March 2017. He is working proactively to improve the transport network in the state. It is important to highlight that the population of Uttar Pradesh is more than 200 million which is more than the combined population of France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Thus, it is important to use new age tools to reach to people in the state.
He has announced new initiatives including providing rural bus service and implementation of new taxi guidelines in the state. Hon'ble Minister may further expand the scope of Social Media as a tool to address public grievances and should instruct transport agencies to use it as a medium for customer redressal system. There is need for setting up special cell in transport organization to manage the new tools.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/swatantrabjp
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/swatantradev.singh/