- What weekend track work looks like. (Photo: YouTube/MetroForward)
New videos from the Metro Forward PR initiative continue to explain just why all those Metro stations were closed for track work last weekend. A new total of three videos have been released so far this week, and I'm personally a fan. See the first here. The videos provide a technical but informative look at what Metro means when they talk about fasteners, ties, and rail welding. Hear the soothing voice of Brian Anderson guide watchers through the process, first in a video about what the installation of ties at the Twinbrook Metro station really entailed:
It's a slick video, and Anderson's experience at SEPTA clearly shows. The man knows his rails, and he knows how to cut together a quick, fun video. Nice job. Watching a video like this truly does remove the unknown, as he told me he hoped to do, and gives greater depth to the statistic that Metro installed 400 ties this past week. He also understands the virtues of holding back and that shorter can be punchier. Here, in this second video, he highlights what rail welding really entails in under 60 seconds:
What's interesting, however, is that the official @WMATA Twitter account seems to be tweeting substantially less lately. With Stessel's hand in recent months, customers had grown used to regular engagement; but as of today, the only tweets coming from the account are automated alerts. I've seen Stessel and Anderson jump in with a few tweets at sporadic hours, yet nothing resembling the consistency of previous weeks. The inactivity has stirred the horde. Personally, while I sympathize with the frustration, I'll give Metro a few days to firm up their strategy upon Anderson's arrival. They're a small staff, and as these videos show, far from idle. I would imagine the frequency of social media engagement will increase with time.
At the end of the day, there's far more ways to engage customers than simply Twitter, and these videos demonstrate that. Anderson features them on the Metro Forward Facebook page and has clearly spent some time preparing them. I wonder, though, how many have seen them. As I write this now, both videos have been online for 19 hours and each have fewer than 50 views. More people should be checking them out.
In other social media news, Metro is now releasing official statements in the comments sections. Yesterday afternoon, I brought up Ozzie Andrews, a Metro station manager full of frustration about a variety of issues, and Metro's chief spokesperson Dan Stessel has conveyed WMATA's reactions in a comment earlier this morning. Jim Wynne, the director of WMATA's Office of Civil Rights, says that while "Metro respects the rights of employees to make personal comments," the remarks of station manager Andrews qualify as "offensive and divisive."
"Metro prides itself in being a diversely populated organization that respects the rights and views of its customers, and general public," Wynne concluded his statement.