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Al Dimond

I'm not really sure the action is about social media at all. Google Transit, like Google Maps before it, was a revolution in how its set of data was presented. Various local services have refined this by adding local search tools and filling in services Google doesn't cover. None of these tools are inherently social -- they present the flat facts about how to get places using transit. That's why Google is the big player, not Facebook or Twitter. You can imagine the insanity of a social transportation site -- "8 of your friends Like(tm) the #44, from Ballard to U District"... But you're trying to get to Columbia City!

Social media has helped with promotion of some of the tools, especially the local ones... but probably more blogs than dedicated social sites. Blogs about transit are quite public, commenters are semi-anonymous, and followed by people on the basis of their interests, not relationships. Blogs about ideas existed long before social media hype, and are useful and interesting to people like me that don't really care about most social media.

Al Dimond

So, I guess the takeaway for transit agencies is that they can make big improvements just by providing (or helping someone else provide) clear, correct, and timely sources of information. Before transit agencies try to reap the gains of the social web they'll have to get on the boat of the information web, which for various reasons they haven't yet mastered.

SEO Expert

Various local services have refined this by adding local search tools and filling in services Google doesn't cover. None of these tools are inherently social -- they present the flat facts about how to get places using transit.

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