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Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation (2022)

Chapter:Appendix C - Survey Results

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26451.
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72 Survey Results A P P E N D I X C Q2. Describe the service area size of your agency. Figure 15. Responses to Q2 (Describe the service area size of your agency; the population estimate for “Both rural and urbanized areas are served” is less than 50,000). Q3. What is the principal mode your agency focuses on? Please check all that apply. NOTE: Multiple responses were allowed. Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Other modes include express bus service and local shuttle; rideshare service; vanpool: a regional transportation service for transportation disadvantaged as a result of age, income, or disability; ferries; ferry system; river ferry; and micro-mobility. Figure 16. Responses to Q3 (What is the principal mode your agency focuses on?). 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Large-urbanized area (population over 200,000) Small-urbanized area (population 50,000– 200,000) Both rural and urbanized areas are served 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Bus Paratransit services Light Rail Heavy rail/Subway Vanpool Monorails and tramways Streetcars and trolleys Cable cars Commuter rail Other Agency Information

Survey Results 73   Table 13. Annual ridership of the agencies. Participant Information— Agency Name How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2017 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2018 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2019 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2020 Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services Did not respond Did not respond 594,217 Did not respond SouthWest Transit 1,148,811 1,124,405 1,105,936 249,678 Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky 3,400,000 3,176,219 3,080,845 2,482,528 Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Did not respond Did not respond 44,000,000 32,000,000 Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority Did not respond 2,700,000 Did not respond 2,400,000 Community Transit 10,400,000 10,900,000 11,000,000 Did not respond Rhode Island Public Transit Authority 16,601,191 16,699,490 16,413,606 13,343,941 Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro 15,000,000 14,000,000 14,500,000 7,000,000 Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Greater Peoria Mass Transit District 2,711,720 2,685,742 2,581,344 2,227,154 TriMet 98,986,457 97,067,672 96,650,044 78,504,513 Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Hancock Area Rural Transit Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Miami-Dade Transit Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Q4. How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years?

74 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Participant Information— Agency Name How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2017 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2018 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2019 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2020 METRO Regional Transit Authority 5,151,011 5,142,955 4,960,026 3,241,025 Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) 3,274,852 3,195,261 3,257,275 3,196,774 Greater Richmond Transit Company 7,945,342 7,384,212 8,586,386 8,397,838 Mountain Line Transit Authority 984,969 990,230 875,856 433,877 Blue Water Area Transportation Commission 1,332,242 1,315,832 1,204,505 444,929 San Joaquin Regional Transit District 3,500,000 3,700,000 3,700,000 2,900,000 Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Did not respond Did not respond 31,239,755 22,798,913 Blacksburg Transit 3,882,540 4,351,386 4,692,326 1,465,873 San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District 420,000 average weekday ridership 414,000 average weekday ridership 411,000 average weekday ridership 288,271 average weekday ridership Charlotte Area Transit System Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond San Diego Metropolitan Transit System 88,222,101 85,409,732 85,357,495 71,224,080 Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond 1,000 Manchester Transit Authority 405,819 410,080 392,605 309,558 Janus Developmental Services Did not respond Did not respond 65,029 38,971 CyRide 6,658,027 6,572,065 6,121,023 4,577,482 Metro Transit– Minnesota Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County 566,356,993 621,857,949 581,575,901 Did not respond

Survey Results 75   Participant Information— Agency Name How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2017 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2018 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2019 How many riders did your agency handle in the most recent years? Agency Ridership—2020 Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada Did not respond Did not respond 64,000,000 56,000,000 Long Beach Transit 22,000,000 22,000,000 Did not respond Did not respond Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation 397,491,365 382,795,186 370,480,743 213,090,477 Los Angeles Department of Transportation– Transit 19,734,177 18,394,160 19,292,677 14,068,012 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 886,000 848,000 857,000 234,000 Gold Coast Transit District Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Valley Metro 65,958,074 66,784,913 64,380,334 52,528,517 Halifax Transit 19,150,000 19,060,000 28,900,000 30,400,000 Chatham Area Transit Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond North Central Regional Transit District Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Birmingham– Jefferson County Transit Authority Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Green Mountain Transit Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Jacksonville Transportation Authority Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond Did not respond

76 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Social Media Platforms Q5. What social media platforms does your agency use? Please check all that apply. NOTE: Multiple responses were allowed. Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 17. Responses to Q5 (What social media platforms does your agency use?). 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram LinkedIn Flickr Reddit Did Not Respond

Survey Results 77   Q6. Indicate the type of information your agency provides via the following major social media platforms. Please check all that apply. NOTE: Multiple responses were allowed. Row percentages are based on the total number of entries for each row. Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 18. Responses to Q6 (Indicate the type of information your agency provides via the following major social media platforms). List any other types of content provided via the major social media platforms listed above. Table 14. Q6 open text responses. Agency Q6 Open Text Responses Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky Local community partnerships and events Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority Recordings of board meetings, Reimagine the COMET public forums, and the COMET Academy classes are on YouTube Community Transit Livestreaming, videos with captions, and short-form videos Rhode Island Public Transit Authority Surveys (customer service) TriMet Giveaways, photos, and polls Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Weather, policies, and highlights of places to travel: art, restaurants, community events, etc. San Joaquin Regional Transit District How-to information, health and safety updates, and customer and employee features 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Service information Real-time service information Emergency alert and crisis information Agency news and projects Other news Press releases and statements Agency promotion Feature stories Meeting and event notices Job listings Other (specify below) Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Other N/A Did Not Respond

78 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Agency Q6 Open Text Responses San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Polls on Twitter Live Twitter Town Halls or Ask Me Anything–type Q&As BART provides customer-service-type responses and creates cases and service tickets from tweets for action by staff. San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Resharing of rider posts and videos (Twitter and Instagram) Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Weekly emailed newsletter with transit news and information Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Campaigns in collaboration with other agencies related to safety, transit, etc. Content promoting the METRO’s podcast COVID-19 safety reminders Long Beach Transit General information, news, and job listings Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation We post short videos to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We use YouTube mainly to host longer videos on projects and programs. We have two primary Twitter handles. One is for service alerts, and the other is for general agency news and usually links to Metro’s blog, The Source, or to a pertinent page on Metro.net, the agency’s website. We sometimes stream our events to Facebook Live. Los Angeles Department of Transportation—Transit Policy updates (a rider conduct reminder like “wear a mask onboard”) Branding and marketing of our services (pictures of buses and destinations) Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Sustainability, user-generated content, and art in the transit program Halifax Transit Historical facts, COVID-19 safety information, passenger policies and guideline reminders, facts about fleet, ridership numbers, and updates on capital projects

Survey Results 79   Q7. How frequently does your agency update the following? Table 15. Frequency of updating social media content. NOTE: Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). List any other types of content and identify the frequency of updates. Table 16. Q7 open text responses. Agency Q7 Open Text Responses SouthWest Transit We primarily use social media to share changes in service and other information that may affect our customers’ schedules. Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky Community partnerships and events (weekly) Get to know your driver info (weekly) Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority Our service information is real time. Therefore, there may be some weeks that go by in which there is no social media content. Other times, we may post service information several times a week on social media and on our website. Type of Information Several Times a Day (%) Once a Day (%) A Few Times a Week (%) Once a Week (%) A Few Times a Month (%) Once a Month (%) N/A (%) Did Not Respond (%) Service information 25.53 4.26 19.15 8.51 19.15 2.13 4.26 17.02 Real-time service information 40.43 2.13 10.64 0.00 8.51 2.13 14.89 21.28 Emergency alert and crisis information 6.38 8.51 10.64 2.13 19.15 14.89 17.02 21.28 Agency news and projects 4.26 8.51 21.28 14.89 21.28 8.51 2.13 19.15 Press releases and statements 2.13 2.13 14.89 8.51 21.28 21.28 8.51 21.28 Agency promotion 10.64 10.64 17.02 14.89 10.64 12.77 2.13 21.28 Feature stories 2.13 2.13 17.02 17.02 17.02 12.77 10.64 21.28 Meeting and event notices 2.13 34.04 6.38 2.13 29.79 0.00 4.26 21.28 Other news 4.26 8.51 14.89 14.89 19.15 6.38 8.51 23.40 Other (specify below) 0.00 2.13 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.13 4.26 91.49

80 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Agency Q7 Open Text Responses Community Transit Rider alerts (via GovDelivery), 1–2 times a month for construction E-newsletter, 1 time a month Livestream on Facebook Live, 1 time a month or 2 times a month on service change months Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Rider/employee profiles—weekly Mural Mondays—weekly Service changes—quarterly (outside of the pandemic) Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) We post surveys to social media whenever we are conducting one. Our social media channels outperform our other surveying methods. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Held a Twitter townhall at least once a year Do Twitter polls a few times a year Customer service responses and follow-up on Twitter, as needed Charlotte Area Transit System Glossy photos New services Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Sustainability—a few times a month Halifax Transit Because of the topography of the Halifax region, we have created Snow Plan routes—alternate routing for conventional bus routes to navigate around hills and other tricky areas. These are tweeted during winter storm events, along with a link to Snow Plan alternate routing on our website: https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/halifax-transit/service- disruptions/snow-plan.

Survey Results 81   Q8. How many people are instrumental in reviewing social media content before posting? NOTE: Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 19. Responses to Q8 (How many people are instrumental in reviewing social media content before posting?). Q9. Who is responsible for creating and circulating the posts on different social media platforms? Please check all that apply. NOTE: Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 20. Responses to Q9 (Who is responsible for creating and circulating the posts on different social media platforms?). 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Multiple persons No one One person Other (specify) Did Not Respond 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Service information Real-time service information Emergency alert and crisis information Agency news and projects Other news Press releases and statements Agency promotion Feature stories Meeting and event notices Job listings Other (specify below) Senior management Marketing staff Information technology staff Administrative staff Customer service staff Other Did Not Respond

82 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Q10. How many man hours does your agency dedicate toward managing social media? NOTE: Responses are expressed as a percentage of total responding agencies (N = 36). Figure 21. Responses to Q10 (How many man hours does your agency dedicate toward managing social media?). Q11. What is the budget allocated for social media engagement? Table 17. Q11 open text responses. Agency Q11 Open Text Responses Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services Very limited budget for boosting posts, maybe $200/year SouthWest Transit Don’t currently have a budget allocated for social media engagement. Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority $15,000 a year—normally set for campaign-specific marketing. Community Transit Have a contract with Sprout Social for its services. Our customer experience/digital experience budget pays for it. Budget for boosts and paid social media ads come out of separate communications and marketing budgets. Rhode Island Public Transit Authority There is no set budget allocated for social media engagement. We spent $100,000 last year. Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro None beyond the salary of the e-media coordinator Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority The only budget is included within the payroll budget for marketing staff. Social media promotions, if paid for, are unbudgeted. Greater Peoria Mass Transit District There is not a specific budget for social media engagement. TriMet About $7,000–$8,000 per month between budgets for promoting posts and tools like Zendesk Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Less than $5,000 annually Miami-Dade Transit It depends; in recent fiscal years, the budget has been about $2,000– $5,000 a year for social media promotion. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 1-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 >40

Survey Results 83   Agency Q11 Open Text Responses Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) We do not budget specifically for it. We spend roughly $500 a year on social media paid promotions across all channels. We could easily quadruple that (at least) without negatively influencing the overall budget. Mountain Line Transit Authority Fluctuates as needed—we try to keep our social media costs down. Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Fluctuates per project Blacksburg Transit $15,000 annually San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Our social media engagement platform (Salesforce Social Studio) is part of a larger Salesforce package that includes more than social media, so it is difficult to determine the budget for social media engagement specifically. San Diego Metropolitan Transit System We have a $3,000-per-year social media reporting tool (Sprout Social), but other tools for calendar/scheduling (Asana and Hootsuite) are free. Ad spending varies and is typically part of a larger ad buy. Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Very little CyRide No specific funding is dedicated for social media engagement. Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County All social media posts and engagements are organically generated. Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada Approximately $15,000 annually Long Beach Transit About $75,000 annually Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Approximately $510,000 annually for the salaries of the six people (manager included) in the Public Relation’s Digital Division, which manages our social media, blog, and digital content. We also spend about $13,100 per year on a Hootsuite subscription, about $1,100 per year for a Shutterstock photo and video subscription, and about $3,000 to $5,000 per year purchasing or maintaining our photo and video equipment. Valley Metro There is no specific amount set for social media engagement. This is wrapped into the budget for each campaign.

84 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Agency Considerations Q12. How important is each of the following considerations in your agency’s decision to use social media? Table 18. Importance of social media in achieving certain goals. Goal Not Important at All (%) Slightly Important (%) Important (%) Very Important (%) Weighted Average Communicate with current and prospective riders 0.0 2.1 12.8 66.0 3.8 Crisis communication 0.0 0.0 21.3 57.4 3.7 Improve agency image 0.0 0.0 31.9 44.7 3.6 Distribute general information 0.0 2.1 34.0 44.7 3.5 Improve customer satisfaction 0.0 2.1 31.9 44.7 3.5 Promote agency services 0.0 8.5 25.5 44.7 3.5 Distribute real-time service information 4.3 8.5 17.0 44.7 3.4 Increase ridership 2.1 10.6 27.7 40.4 3.3 Prevent misinformation 0.0 12.8 36.2 31.9 3.2 Public health information 4.3 10.6 29.8 36.2 3.2 Citizen engagement 0.0 10.6 40.4 27.7 3.2 Recruit and keep staff 6.4 42.6 12.8 14.9 2.5 Other (specify below) 2.1 0.0 0.0 2.1 2.5 NOTE: Responses are expressed as a percentage of total surveyed agencies (N = 47). To better compare these responses, a weighted average was calculated using a four-point scale where 1 = “not important at all” and 4 = “very important.” “N/A” and “did not respond” responses were excluded.

Survey Results 85   Indicate any other agency considerations for social media use and their level of importance. Table 19. Q12 open text responses. Agency Q12 Open Text Responses Community Transit Livestreaming on a regular basis and hosting board meetings virtually allows community members to participate when it is convenient for them and leads to more participation for those who cannot attend in person. Livestreams “live on” as a recorded video that can be repurposed, viewed, and shared later on social media. Greater Peoria Mass Transit District Used to be informational to riders and nonriders Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) The main purposes during non-pandemic times are to improve the public perception of Cherriots and increase ridership. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Customer service—very important Media relations—important Charlotte Area Transit System Being a staple in the community Being a part of the community conversation Promoting our future projects Getting public input San Diego Metropolitan Transit System We use social media to keep our finger on the pulse of sentiment/trending topics related to public transit, especially with local elected officials and engaged citizens. Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Social media plays a very important role because it allows direct consumer- to-agency contact. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Audio announcements on buses and trains can be difficult to hear. Social media allows us to communicate directly to anyone who has a smartphone, even in the subway. Social media also allows the traditional media to easily see what’s happening at the agency. Los Angeles Department of Transportation–Transit Twitter is used for real-time updates of services (detours, delays, etc.). Instagram and Facebook are used for brand development and customer engagement. Our website is used for more in-detail service alerts, news, policy announcements, and press releases. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Media management Social media is extremely important to telling our corporate story and engaging with our riders. Halifax Transit At the moment, COVID-19 safety measures are a large part of our communications.

86 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Q13. How effective have your agency’s social media activities been in achieving the following goals? Table 20. Effectiveness of social media in achieving certain goals. Goal Not Effective at All (%) Slightly Effective (%) Effective (%) Very Effective (%) Weighted Average Other (specify below) 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 4 Distribute general information 0.0 2.1 46.8 29.8 3.4 Crisis communication 0.0 6.4 40.4 31.9 3.3 Communicate with current and prospective riders 0.0 8.5 44.7 27.7 3.2 Public health information 2.1 12.8 36.2 25.5 3.1 Promote agency services 2.1 14.9 38.3 23.4 3.1 Distribute real-time service information 4.3 19.1 23.4 25.5 3 Improve agency image 0.0 19.1 48.9 8.5 2.9 Citizen engagement 2.1 29.8 29.8 17.0 2.8 Prevent misinformation 0.0 34.0 34.0 10.6 2.7 Improve customer satisfaction 0.0 34.0 31.9 10.6 2.7 Increase ridership 10.6 29.8 23.4 2.1 2.3 Recruit and keep staff 12.8 40.4 10.6 2.1 2 NOTE: Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). To better compare these responses, a weighted average was calculated using a four-point scale where 1 = “not effective at all” and 4 = “very effective.” “N/A” and “did not respond” responses were excluded.

Survey Results 87   NOTE: Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 22. Responses to Q13 (How effective have your agency’s social media activities been in achieving the following goals?) How effective has social media been in meeting other objectives? Table 21. Q13 open text responses. Agency Q13 Open Text Responses Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services I think social media has been a good tool to get information to partner agencies that serve riders. SouthWest Transit Social media has been an effective tool, among others, to keep our customers informed about our services. Community Transit It has helped get our press releases shared and noticed by traditional media outlets. Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro Social media has been effective in satisfying senior management and board expectations. Greater Peoria Mass Transit District Social media has provided us with a channel to communicate quickly, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) Social media has met our objectives well. However, it can be very difficult to measure the effectiveness of social media when we have the same objectives for other media channels, both digital and traditional. Charlotte Area Transit System We have set goals to simply engage our audience and create brand awareness that have been successful. We also wanted our audience to stay informed about our COVID measures, and that has been successful. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Communicate with current and prospective riders Distribute general information Distribute real-time service information Prevent misinformation Crisis communication Public health information Improve customer satisfaction Improve agency image Citizen engagement Recruit and keep staff Increase ridership Promote agency services Other (specify below) Not effective at all Slightly effective Effective Very effective N/A Did Not Respond

88 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Agency Q13 Open Text Responses Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Social media has been effective for marketing and being able to interact with the public directly. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation As a government entity, we have a responsibility to reach out to taxpayers and customers to inform them of what is happening with our agency. As a tool of good government, social media has been effective for connecting people with information that they want. Even as ridership has dropped at our agency since 2014, our social media followers have been increasing. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority We have constant growth each year in our accounts, and many stakeholder groups look to our channels for information. It’s also a place to manage the media as our corporate Twitter feed often serves as our on-the-record statement. Valley Metro We currently do not keep track of the effectiveness of social media, just impressions and sentiment. Halifax Transit We are endeavoring to increase our social media reach by expanding to other platforms. We know that only a small portion of the population uses Twitter, our main channel of communication. By using more popular platforms, we hope to reach a larger audience and affect greater change. Q14. Which social media metrics are important to your agency? Please check all that apply. NOTE: Multiple responses were allowed. Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 23. Responses to Q14 (Which social media metrics are important to your agency?). 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Engagement: Likes, comments, shares and clicks Awareness: Impressions & reach Customer care: Response rate & time No Evaluation Other Did Not Respond

Survey Results 89   Q15. How does your agency measure the effectiveness of your social media success? Please check all that apply. NOTE: Multiple responses were allowed. Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 24. Responses to Q15 (How does your agency measure the effectiveness of your social media success?). Q16. Which social media platforms does your agency use to reach specific audiences? Please check all that apply. Table 22. Social media use focusing on target riders. Target Riders Facebook (%) Twitter (%) YouTube (%) Instagram (%) Other (%) N/A (%) Did Not Respond Regular riders 78.7 66.0 27.7 42.6 6.4 0.0 17.0 Occasional riders 70.2 61.7 31.9 48.9 2.1 0.0 21.3 Students/young adults 59.6 57.4 36.2 57.4 4.3 0.0 19.1 Seniors 70.2 44.7 21.3 23.4 8.5 6.4 17.0 People with disabilities 74.5 57.4 23.4 36.2 8.5 4.3 19.1 Low-income communities 74.5 59.6 25.5 44.7 6.4 2.1 21.3 Minorities 74.5 61.7 25.5 48.9 4.3 0.0 21.3 Agency employees 53.2 21.3 17.0 23.4 23.4 14.9 21.3 External stakeholders 59.6 59.6 34.0 40.4 23.4 0.0 23.4 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Facebook Insights Twitter Analytics Hootsuite Other (Specify) Sprout Social Direct Messages N/A Did Not Respond

90 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation NOTE: Multiple responses were allowed. Responses are expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 25. Responses to Q16 (Which social media platforms does your agency use to reach specic audiences?). 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Regular riders Occasional riders Students/Young adults Seniors People with disabilities Low-income communities Minorities Agency employees External stakeholders Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Other N/A Did Not Respond

Survey Results 91   Q17. Is your agency effective in reaching specific audiences with the help of social media platforms? NOTE: Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 26. Responses to Q17 (Is your agency effective in reaching specic audiences with the help of social media platforms?). 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Regular riders Occasional riders Students/Young adults Seniors People with disabilities Low-income communities Minorities Agency employees External stakeholders Not effective at all Slightly effective Effective Very effective

92 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Q18. Do your agency’s social media posts tie in with other activities and/or information distribution platforms, such as real-time alerts or service advisories? Please check all that apply. NOTE: Multiple responses were allowed. Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 27. Responses to Q18 (Do your agency’s social media posts tie in with other activities and/or information distribution platforms, such as real-time alerts or service advisories?). Q19. Does your agency share third-party private company information or promotions via social media platforms? NOTE: Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 28. Responses to Q19 (Does your agency share third-party private company information or promotions via social media platforms?). 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Marketing and communications plan Real-time service alerts Service advisories 211 (human services information) 311 (citizen information) 511 (traveler information) Other Did Not Respond 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Yes No N/A Did Not Respond

Survey Results 93   Q20. [IF Q19=YES] If yes, how often? NOTE: Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 29. Responses to Q20 (If yes, how often?). Q21. Is there an employee conduct policy (in social media) at your agency? NOTE: Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 30. Responses to Q21 [Is there an employee conduct policy (in social media) at your agency?]. Q22. If possible, please upload the employee conduct policy document your agency follows. Five agencies uploaded documents. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Regularly (every day) Often (Once or twice in a week) Very Often (once or twice in a month) Other (specify): Did Not Respond 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Yes No In development Did Not Respond

94 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Q23. Is there a social media strategy policy at your agency? NOTE: Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 31. Responses to Q23 (Is there a social media strategy policy at your agency?). Q24. If possible, please upload the social media strategy policy document your agency follows. Five agencies uploaded documents. Q25. Please describe the changes made (by your agency) in social media information sharing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Table 23. Q25 open text responses. Agency Q25 Open Text Responses Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services We are posting more public health information than we ever have before. SouthWest Transit We have concentrated on making sure our customers are aware that SW Transit is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of all of our customers and drivers. Social media is one avenue of communication that we take advantage of when getting information out to our customers when it comes to COVID-19. Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky We have been posting more, trying to be more transparent, and getting information out to people quicker. We have also used this time to reassess our social media plans and make changes to focus on new marketing efforts post-COVID. Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Frequent updates More graphics to capture attention Developed videos to convey information 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Yes No In development N/A Did Not Respond

Survey Results 95   Agency Q25 Open Text Responses Community Transit When sharing information about COVID-19 and how the agency is working to protect riders, posts are reviewed by the public information officer and approved by our security manager who heads up our incident command system team. All other non-COVID-related information is posted to social media by communications and marketing as usual. Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro We have had to create a template for informing the public about operators who test positive for COVID. The template aims to provide information to riders to help them feel informed while protecting the identity of the affected employees. Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority Our social media messaging has shifted significantly, and our frequency of posting has increased. Greater Peoria Mass Transit District We provide regular updates on service and facility changes and personal protective equipment requirements. TriMet Previously, public safety and health information was not something we really discussed on our accounts. Now, it accounts for the bulk of our content. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority There is a greater focus on using visual content to communicate COVID-19 responses with photos and videos of cleaning and other safety improvements. We are no longer trying to attract choice riders to the system. Kansas City Area Transportation Authority We moved missed trips off of social media. Miami-Dade Transit We aim to publish about three to four COVID-19–related posts (pertaining to service adjustments, cleaning, new procedures, and so forth) per month. At the start of the pandemic, we had multiple posts per week, but now as things return to normalcy, we continue to visibly promote our adjustments, just less frequently. METRO Regional Transit Authority There has been a heavier push on social media with COVID-19–related announcements. Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) We have completely stopped promoting ridership. Instead, we focus on continuing to improve our public image in our community. Greater Richmond Transit Company We share a lot of information on our website but not necessarily on social media. We post every COVID case among staff or contractors online. Social media is used to remind riders of COVID-specific policies, like the mask mandate.

96 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Agency Q25 Open Text Responses Mountain Line Transit Authority We update our service levels daily on Twitter/Facebook. We also use social media to relay any CDC guidelines related to transportation and being in public. It has become crucial to informing our riders of policy changes. We have gained followers in the last year, potentially because of the output of crucial information. San Joaquin Regional Transit District Due to the current public health order that public transportation is for essential needs only, we do not promote leisure activities or events with our services. Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Our social media use has shifted mainly toward “transit is safe” initiatives and promotions of the cleanliness of vehicles and facilities, community support, and so forth. Blacksburg Transit Less riders = less information = less engagement San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District We are frequently sharing daily ridership numbers and train crowding details. Charlotte Area Transit System More frequent posting Greater focus on what we’re doing on the operations side San Diego Metropolitan Transit System In general, there were not new rules as a result of COVID, but there was an increase in the ways we already used social (education, awareness, and customer service). One change that we saw was an uptick/spike in employee (operator) comments about onboard rules and enforcement/concerns for their health, primarily via Facebook. Other than that, we have used social media throughout the pandemic as an educational tool to keep riders informed of any service changes as a result of the pandemic, as well as ongoing health requirements onboard, and to respond to customer complaints and questions. We also did a large ad buy to educate riders on our Clean Ride effort and to recognize employees. Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority Our staff worked remotely. CyRide Extensive additional information was posted regarding safety efforts, including disinfection, rear-door boarding, social distancing, and mask wearing. Normal posting continued during this time, but efforts focused on updating passengers on new policies as they came into effect. Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County A COVID-19 safety tip and graphic are included with every service alert that is issued. Press releases are issued updating riders with new confirmed cases. COVID-19 safety reminders are shared on social media frequently.

Survey Results 97   Agency Q25 Open Text Responses Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada Sharing of resources available by counties, cities, and health districts for testing and vaccination sites Long Beach Transit Increased communication including greater use of Twitter Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation We adjusted the tone. Whereas in the past we would sometimes try to be funny or irreverent, we tried to just stick with the facts during the pandemic. The reason: both our core customers and our frontline staff were hit hard by the pandemic from both a health and income perspective, and this wasn’t the time to be anything less than serious. Los Angeles Department of Transportation–Transit Previously, Instagram and Facebook posts were reviewed by marketing staff and posted online. During the pandemic, senior management reviews posts drafted by marketing staff for information appropriateness, policy compliance, and accuracy of information. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority When COVID-19 first started, most social media engagement slowed or stopped unless it was a service/corporate announcement or related to public health. Then we warmed up on our more fun channels like Instagram and Facebook with content for people who miss Metro and things to keep our brand relevant. Today, we’re back at a regular pace of sharing news, projects, regular service announcements, engaging/praising stakeholders, and thinking about the future. Valley Metro We increased the number of posts surrounding public health and other agency changes to keep riders more informed, but the overall goals did not change due to COVID. Halifax Transit We placed a greater focus on sharing specific COVID-19 safety measures (e.g., provincial mask mandate, blocked-off seating areas, boarding and exiting from rear doors, seating capacity limitations, and restrictions for travelers arriving at the airport). At the beginning of the pandemic, service was reduced by roughly 30%, which was communicated broadly via social media (shared by municipal social media channels).

98 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Q26. Below are some commonly identified barriers to using social media. Indicate the importance of each component in your agency’s decision to use social media. NOTE: Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 32. Responses to Q26 (Indicate the importance of each component in your agency’s decision to use social media). Q27. If there are any other specific barriers and challenges, please describe below. Table 24. Q27 open text responses. Agency Q27 Open Text Responses Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority We use social media as a tool for direct customer service communication. People are very vocal, especially on Facebook. Community Transit Limited “seats” for Sprout Social (or whatever software is used to create or schedule social media posts) Limited bandwidth for uploading video (technical issues) from home Needing more time to create a social media content calendar and creating content that is engaging Social media can take a back seat to other communications priorities. Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro Represented employees criticizing the agency—without a clearly defined policy and agency support, there is sometimes nothing we can do about it. Greater Peoria Mass Transit District Receiving complaints and response time for comments/questions. There is only one person (me) monitoring our social media, so it is difficult to always respond in a timely manner. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Prevent misinformation during crisis management Track interactions and feedback Time constraints for posting Harsh or impolite comments User privacy Lack of smartphone usage Requirement of support from IT staff Agency managers do not see the benefits of social media Staff will waste time updating their personal pages Not important at all Slightly important Important Very important weighted average

Survey Results 99   Agency Q27 Open Text Responses Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Lack of staffing to manage channels and interactions Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) We have had a few incidents of staff posting comments conveying their frustration and anger with the district on our posts. Due to our lack of employee social media conduct policy and the strength of the union, there are no repercussions when this happens. Greater Richmond Transit Company Social media feeds may not be delivered to the user in real time, which impacts the relevance and timeliness of the information we post. San Joaquin Regional Transit District Lack of sufficient resources to create quality social media content within the department San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District There are no barriers. We fully recognize the important role of social media, and we have full buy-in to prioritize it and to be bold. San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Our main challenge is access to social alerts/responses beyond our typical weekday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours. We don’t have dedicated staff outside that time, and so responses lag over the weekend or evenings (sometimes staff will check and respond); and making sure crises in those periods are proactively handled/monitored. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation The agency’s customer surveys in the past have indicated that just over half our customers have smartphones, which is a concern. That said, the 2020 customer experience survey showed that 73% of our riders have smartphones and another 23% have cell phones. This has never deterred us from pursuing social media, but we also knew that we couldn’t rely on social media alone to communicate with riders and stakeholders. Otherwise, I think across the agency there is widespread agreement that we need to be a presence on social media, although I think it is fair to say there are different opinions on how best to approach social media. Los Angeles Department of Transportation–Transit It is difficult to curate and build a distinct and consistent brand identity with internal staff, management, and marketing consultants all providing input and green-lighting content. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 10 years ago, your previous issues were all barriers. However, today, not many are barriers. In fact, we are looking to grow our digital team to better use social media.

100 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Q28. Can people with disabilities access your agency’s social media sites? Table 25. Accessibility of social media sites. Accessibility to People with Disabilities Agency Response (%) Yes, completely accessible 29.8 Partially accessible 40.4 No, not accessible 0.0 In process of making it accessible 2.1 N/A 8.5 Did not respond 19.1 Q29. Does your agency actively handle direct messages or mentions from social media users? NOTE: Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 33. Responses to Q29 (Does your agency actively handle direct messages or mentions from social media users?). 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Yes No Did Not Respond

Survey Results 101   Q30. How does your agency archive social media interactions? NOTE: Responses expressed as a percentage of total participating agencies (N = 47). Figure 34. Responses to Q30 (How does your agency archive social media interactions?). Lessons Learned and Future Needs Q31. What are your social media goals over the next 1–3 years? Table 26. Q31 open text responses. Agency Q31 Open Text Responses Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services Continue to grow our outreach Start a real-time communication method more focused on riders, possibly through text SouthWest Transit Grow as our customer usage grows Use social media to increase our ridership Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky Build our social media audience Make it a place to receive real-time updates Focus on pushing marketing efforts Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Increase engagement Use for improving public image/support Increase impressions 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Does not archive Archive Social Sprout Social Hootsuite Messenger Twitter native app Website form Remains within the platforms Customer service / Social media managing team Screenshots Ticketing system through third party social media platform Did not respond Archive only abusive contents

102 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Agency Q31 Open Text Responses Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority To grow annually by 10–15% (by followers) Community Transit Increase followers Create more videos Create more content overall Rhode Island Public Transit Authority No current goals Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro Grow to 1 million followers Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority Increase followers and interactions Explore new platforms, such as TikTok Greater Peoria Mass Transit District Increase views/use Improve content Develop more robust strategies TriMet Reach more minority communities Find ways to reach and influence nonriders Make our content more accessible Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Add staff to actively manage the distribution of service information and to bring customer service representatives to handle complaints directly on social media Miami-Dade Transit Increase following Decrease complaints Improve agency perception Salem Area Mass Transit District (Cherriots) Continue to gain followers, improve our public image, and increase ridership post-COVID We also will be educating the public on the safety of public transportation as it relates to the spread of disease, specifically COVID. Greater Richmond Transit Company Grow followers over time Improve manpower behind the scenes to support real-time service alerts on Twitter and our mobile app Mountain Line Transit Authority To engage our community more We have a relatively new Facebook page and not many followers for the ridership we put out. It would be nice to see them on our social pages.

Survey Results 103   Agency Q31 Open Text Responses Blue Water Area Transportation Commission N/A San Joaquin Regional Transit District Increase engagement and followers Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Restructure what information goes on what channel Hire someone specifically for social media strategy Revamping/cleansing of our YouTube channel Blacksburg Transit Increase engagement San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District To keep up with new trends and to always be on the forefront Charlotte Area Transit System Increase reach and audience San Diego Metropolitan Transit System Gain better social media analytics (tracking through Sprout is new this past year) Increase following on social platforms while maintaining and increasing engagement rates Use tools to rebuild trust/ridership following COVID-19 pandemic through active community engagement and transparency Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority We are a very small staff with a limited budget for outreach, so we have no long-term social media goals. Manchester Transit Authority No specific goals have been identified. Social media is not a major communication strategy within our system. CyRide Increase the frequency of postings Develop a general social media policy for the agency Expand the usage of social media for marketing purposes Metro Transit– Minnesota We want to foster deeper social content collaboration with regional partners and our customers. We want to grow our role as a community leader and supporter of social equity throughout the region. Finally, we want to help build a post-COVID growth in ridership. Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Create a strong presence on social media Continue to generate organic engagement Create high-quality content for both entertainment and educational purposes

104 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Agency Q31 Open Text Responses Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada Grow followers and engagement Long Beach Transit To increase student engagement and senior engagement Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation To continue to expand our followers on all streams and to use social media to keep taxpayers informed, aware of our agency, and at times even entertained Los Angeles Department of Transportation–Transit Build our follower base and develop a visual identity Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Continued engagement Better storytelling More video productions Valley Metro Increase followers on all platforms Halifax Transit Grow existing followers Increase customer engagement Expand our social media reach to other platforms Increase our customer service information about our programs Q32. Please describe any lessons learned by your agency that could be useful to other transit agencies. Table 27. Q32 open text responses. Agency Q32 Open Text Responses SouthWest Transit Make sure you have someone dedicated to social media and to communicate how social media is working for the company and its goals. Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority It is important to set boundaries and expectations; otherwise, people may inbox you at all times—whether you are available or not. We are creating a system where users know when they can expect a response and how often the sites are monitored. Community Transit Integrate livestreaming and video into your social media and communications overall. Repurpose your content as much as possible. Be open to trying new things (platforms, memes, and so forth). Rhode Island Public Transit Authority Respond to all comments, even negative ones. Many users have changed their attitude and even apologized for their comments once we responded. Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro Develop policies early so you do not play catch-up. Get full senior management support.

Survey Results 105   Agency Q32 Open Text Responses Do not get engaged in online “flame wars.” You will never win. Let others come to your defense—they will. Greater Peoria Mass Transit District Respond to all comments/questions, whether they are positive or negative. Highlight positive things happening at your agency. Use videos and pictures as much as possible. TriMet Do not talk about yourself; talk about the rider. A rider-focused perspective is essential, and few do it. Many government agencies just talk about themselves, which does not provide valuable content that riders will subscribe to. Greater Richmond Transit Company Simply responding to a tag shows you are listening and take their comments seriously. We log every tag whether it is a complaint or commendation. San Joaquin Regional Transit District Keep text out of graphics for Instagram and Facebook. Lifestyle-type content works great on Instagram and can be as simple as short videos of your buses in motion, taken with your phone. Instagram users like content that looks like user-generated content over professionally produced–looking content. Blacksburg Transit Do not fear user interaction or negative comments. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Treat your social media managers like spokespeople. Give them the keys and knowledge base to be successful. Hire strong writers with a public relations background. Have a strong social listening program so you know what messages land well with our audience or desired audience. Charlotte Area Transit System Be authentic Be transparent Janus Developmental Services Continue to share Metro Transit– Minnesota Responding quickly to customer questions and feedback on social media is a large part of how we gauge our customer service efforts. Having a 24-7 team to handle these inquiries, as part of our Transit Control Center, has been invaluable in using social media to address real-time concerns and issues throughout our transit system. Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Create relationships with riders to build a trusting bond. Distribute information, comments, and complaints to departments within your agency to improve your riders’ experience. Be as transparent as possible with information that is released to the public. Long Beach Transit Multiple forms of communication are critical during important events, like the pandemic or social events such as demonstrations.

106 Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation Agency Q32 Open Text Responses Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation It is better to be interesting than boring. Los Angeles Department of Transportation– Transit Keep the access to social media accounts to a few staff. Enough that things can be posted during an emergency, but not too many to where our social media accounts become vulnerable. We had a situation recently where our social media staff did not realize they were still logged into the agency account and “liked” inappropriate content, which showed up as part of our social media activity. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Keep pressing forward. Negativity is part of being on social [media] and should not be a barrier. Have corporate buy-in by coaching, teaching, and embedding digital folks. Invest in good software to manage the channels. Invest in good mobile technologies (iPhone, cellular connectivity, and Adobe) for swift content creation. Valley Metro Do not fuel the fire! Sometimes it is better to stay out of heated topics in the comment sections and let the transit champions support your agency in the comments. Halifax Transit Use technology (Trapeze TransitMaster) to provide real-time service alerts via Twitter. SouthWest Transit Make sure you have someone dedicated to social media and to communicate how social media is working for the company and its goals. Q33. Please describe any suggestions on improving social media interactions in the future. Table 28. Q33 open text responses. Agency Q33 Open Text Responses Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority Set a goal/benchmark of responding within a reasonable amount of time. Have other staff help in monitoring after hours and on weekends on a rotating basis. Community Transit Be timely. Be authentic; speak like a human, not a corporation. Be transparent; be honest. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District Thread your content on Twitter instead of posting one sentence and a link to more information. Keep conversations public to be transparent. Unless someone starts a DM, keep it open; do not ask them to DM you. Have different strategies for each platform to tap into what works for each one.

Survey Results 107   Agency Q33 Open Text Responses Charlotte Area Transit System Have a social media coordinator who can devote all their time to the strategy. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Do not be condescending with riders, and know when to break off interactions going poorly. Los Angeles Department of Transportation– Transit User-generated content is great, such as photos of our transit vehicles taken by the public and shared with our agency. We ask permission to use these photos. It is a great way to generate content, and oftentimes, the quality of the submitted content is very good. It is also a great way to engage with our social media followers. Halifax Transit Have more proactive communications to customers about upcoming service changes or program information. Increase community outreach to engage and inform marginalized populations (people of color, people with disabilities, and seniors). Expand social media platforms to reach a broader audience.

Next: Appendix D - Social Media Metrics of the Case Examples »
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A high percentage of transit agencies believe social media is important for increasing ridership, improving customer satisfaction, and improving agency image.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Synthesis 156: Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation updates 2012's TCRP Synthesis 99: Uses of Social Media in Public Transportation and again explores the use of social media among transit agencies. It documents innovative and effective practices in the United States and Canada.

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