Home New York City Transit My new blogging competition: The MTA

My new blogging competition: The MTA

by Benjamin Kabak

The ever-growing realm of New York City blogs feature a fair number of train-oriented sites. Some, such as Rail Fan Window and SubChat, are rail-fan oriented. Others — Station Stops and Trainjotting — focus on the commute. Meanwhile, the usual gang of New York blogs — Curbed, Gothamist, City Room — incorporate subway stories into their daily schedules while Subway Blogger and I provide dedicated coverage of the MTA.

Soon, we’ll be welcoming an unlikely entity into our ranks. According to Metro, New York City Transit’s own L train soon have its own blog. OK, maybe the train itself won’t have a blog, but an official MTA L train-centric blog will makes its debut soon.

Amy Zimmer reported:

The L blog grew out of L line manager Greg Lombardi’s monthly newsletter, but because Lombardi won’t be able to sit in front of his computer all day, MTA marketing and public affairs staffers may post, too, Fleuranges explained. “It might get too intense,” he noted.

It follows the MTA’s foray into Twitter, a micro-blogging social network service. Diane Chehab (@MetroCardDiane), an MTA marketing manager, last month began Tweeting — posting 140-character updates — to let her people know about rider promotions, like discounts at the Bronx Zoo.

Outside of the Tweeting, this blog will be Transit’s first real foray into a Web 2.0 world. “Like most blogs, we plan to have a comment section,” NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said to Zimmer. “We expect and will encourage our riders to post comments and questions.”

Considering the public sentiments over the MTA, I wonder what that comment section will come to resemble come May when the fares go up. Still, if this effort can help the MTA increase its transparency, I’m all for it.

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Gary Reilly April 7, 2009 - 4:56 pm

I’ve always wondered why they don’t have Aaron Donovan blogging. He was great at Streetsblog.

Rhywun April 7, 2009 - 5:57 pm

Well, the L ranked highest in the last report card. There can’t be all that much to complain about 🙂

Gary Busey April 7, 2009 - 11:19 pm

Ha! Funny considering New York City Transit’s network filters block employees from accessing Twitter….

BrianW April 8, 2009 - 1:20 am

Don’t believe anything Paul Fleuranges says. He hates railfans. He really does. And he’s lying here too. Twittering/L Blogging is NOT the first foray into Web 2.0 for the MTA. That honor goes to the MTA Flickr account.

Benjamin Kabak April 8, 2009 - 1:32 am

Two points to clarify, Brian.

I — and not Fleuranges — said the blog is the first foray into Web 2.0.

Second, Paul has been nothing but courtesy and helpful when I’ve talked to him. While I see why anyone would find his 2006 statements off-putting, I think that article is a relic of its time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s more accepting of railfans now.

He has to balance the demands of the MTA with his job as one of its spokespeople, and while I am a firm believer in the free flow of information and the online resources devoted to rail, I can see why he might balk at the sensitive nature of some of the stuff out there.

BrianW April 8, 2009 - 6:47 pm

Sorry, my mistake. Anyhow, I still think his comments went way beyond “the times” or anything required by his job. If the information is sensitive, then either don’t put it in the public documents, or don’t advertise via the article that the sensitive info is in there! But don’t complain that people are legitimately using info made available by your employer! And the Flickr account is the first, right?

Julia April 8, 2009 - 10:01 am

OK, maybe the train itself won’t have a blog

Wait. That is brilliant. Quick, someone start a Twitter feed for the 7 train!

“I’m not running express this morning – oops! Gotta love that rain :(”
“Full of Mets fans. Yum!”

Invite Your Friends, All 200 Million of ’Em - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com April 8, 2009 - 12:15 pm

[…] proliferation of transportation-focused blogs continues, and now the M.T.A. is getting in the game. [Metro via 2nd Ave […]


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