September 15, 2015, was a dreaded day for the people of Mumbai, when in an unprecedented accident a local train derailed leading to a state of chaos, stranding thousands of commuters who rely on the Western Line for daily commute.
Since the infrastructure rescue took a considerable amount of time, the only sigh of relief was the perfect dissemination of information across Twitterverse.
City that never sleeps on Twitter
From the very moment of the accident, Twitter kept Mumbai moving. Notifications on train cancellations/delays, live updates on traffic across Western Express Highway (WEH) and SV Road, intimation on the increased frequency of BEST buses and above all the goodness gestures of carpooling from active twitteratis connected with a thread of hashtags.
The synergy of tweets from the official twitter handle of Western Railways @WesternRly , DRM Mumbai Central @drmbct , @smart_mumbaikar and @TrafflineMUM presented a clear picture of the situation with suitable alternatives. The real time info bytes from official sources helped Mumbaikars in making an informed choice.
Due to derailment between Andheri and Vile Parle, some WR long distance trains are rescheduled. Fr details https://t.co/EfTD1qJbbK
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) September 15, 2015
Innovation to out beat the situation
Taking cues from the dreaded day @smart_mumbaikar rehashed a utilitarian campaign to assist mumbaikars in traveling with #WantLift and #GivingLift, the hashtags made a lot of sense but attracted quite a few good Samaritans.
This proactive approach from official and need based twitter handles point us back towards the relevance of social media in tackling issues which affect citizens. We cannot deny the role played by other main stream media but the beauty of social generating content in real time from hundreds and thousands of people set it apart.
A vital lesson to learn from the sequence of events is to evolve from the state of sharing and spreading relevant
information to the state of deriving ad hoc solutions for the affected people. The initiative can be lead by the official handles and supported by the communities which receive a great deal of engagement.
In this case, although the efficacy of this medium could not reduce the travel time for commuters but it did reassure them with the hope of reaching home in some way or the other with inputs crowd sourced from people on the go.