Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Metro taps a little holiday good will on Facebook

January 9, 2012 - 09:36 AM
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Transit isn't always nuts and bolts. (Photo: Facebook)

Metro kicked off 2012 not just with "Baby Got Back" and the Cupid Shuffle but also a simple Facebook update. At 12:26 a.m., less than half an hour into the new year, the Metro Facebook account wrote the following:

happy new year. this is 2012.

Cheers? It's a hilariously straightforward message. No caps, no flourish, just good will. What really wins it for me is the unusual close: "this is 2012." Yes, it is. Yet despite the total simplicity and lack of polish, Metro's New Year's message received 22 likes and multiple positive comments. It's one of the most popular updates I've seen WMATA deliver on its Facebook page, which is now up to more than 2,400 fans. It's not always easy to predict what will be popular on social media but the popular hits often strike at something bigger than the nuts and bolts, something both deeper and perhaps more superficially apparent. Metro's other big winner — photos of old Metro construction from decades past. People swarmed all over those photos with love.

The takeaway here is that while people love the up-to-the-minute updates and of course good transit service, they also like when their transit agency shows moments of genuine heart, however uncomplicated, and reveals an identity bigger than the broken escalator on your morning commute.

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