The New South Wales(NSW) government has announced that it will be turning to Twitter to announce delays and details on the state’s train network. Piloting in December(and over the next three months), commuters will soon be able to receive personalized messages through Twitter that lets them know of disruptions on the state’s suburban and intercity train lines.

The automatic alerts feature will let customers choose exactly which train services they want to hear about and when they want to receive alerts. Anyone who subscribes to the alert service will get the travel information they want, when they want it. Unnecessary disruption alerts will be filtered out.

The partnership, aimed at individualizing transport services information — a first in Australia — was announced by the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance. He added that if the technology proves successful, Transport for NSW will look to work with buses, ferries and light rail to improve mobile personal messaging.

Today we are taking the next big step in transport and developing a way to speak directly to every customer, no matter what commute they do. Our partnership with Twitter on this pilot for personalized transport disruption alerts is already a great example of a new approach paying off for customers,

Constance said.

On the partnership, Twitter’s Head of Business Development & Platform Partnerships for Australia and New Zealand, Jenny Goodridge remarks:

Twitter is already used by thousands of Sydney commuters every day. By partnering with Transport for NSW, we can harness the real-time power of Twitter to deliver automatic alerts about transport delays to those who need them, instantly and intuitively.

The announcement is part of the NSW Government’s Future Transport Roadmap, launched earlier this year, in a bid to harness technology that will change the way the government and customers plan, build and use transport in NSW.

As part of the roadmap, the NSW government will be harnessing technology to provide better transport services by bringing together innovators and though leaders from technology industries around the world. The roadmap is looking to develop advanced analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities to move toward smarter ways of managing road and public transport networks. This will help the governement better tackle congestion, as well as personalize services.

The Future Transport Roadmap outlines key areas which include:

  • Extending Opal’s functionality to become a payment platform for all transport related costs across the state, possibly including road tolls and taxis.
  • Moving toward a truly personalized public transport experience by automating and optimizing how the government plans timetables for trains, buses, ferries and light rail, as well as delivering the services where appropriate.
  • Activating the Smart Innovation Center for advanced transport technology that will look at new road safety technology, as well as developing and trialing connected and automated vehicles.
  • Developing advanced analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities to move toward smarter ways of managing road and public transport networks to tackle congestion and personalize services.
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