ttc twitter

Twitter me TTC (Service Interruptions)

Twitter. It's certainly all the rage these days. Much like we were with Facebook, Toronto tech types are keen adopters of the tool that is Twitter... so much so that we've put our city into the higher ranks of global users.

One Toronto techie, Brian Gilham, has done something that the TTC should have done long ago. He's figured out a way to relay the publicly accessible TTC status update RSS feed to a Twitter account. And his unofficial workaround appears to be working.

It's pretty straightforward. Every 5 minutes, the TTC's service disruption feed is checked, and relayed to the TTCupdates Twitter Feed (and truncated to meet the max. 140 character Tweet restriction).

iPhone users that have mobile Twitter applications can follow this feed and near real-time notices of service disruptions will appear within their stream.

Granted, this simple tool would be so much more effective had Twitter not been forced to stop offering outgoing SMS (text) service in Canada a while back. Were the Canadian telecoms not so greedy, we would be able to automatically get service interruptions sent to us via Twitter (rather than having to manually check for them, as we do now).

If Twitter can somehow restore outgoing SMS in the future, Brian's simple TTCupdate feed will be an invaluable resource to Toronto transit users. In the meantime, we'll just have to check in before heading to catch the streetcar or subway.

Note: for transit users not equipped with iPhones and mobile Twitter apps, Brian has also set up a simple database that logs service disruptions and posts them to a mobile-friendly web page.

Photo by chewie2008~


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