Code for Boston to revive MBTA Alerts! Twitter account

T customers can stay up to date with a rogue MBTA Twitter alert account.
T customers can stay up to date with a rogue MBTA Twitter alert account. Photo: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

T customers who depended on the unofficial MBTA Alerts! Twitter account before it shut down can rejoice, because Code for Boston is stepping up to revive it.  

Fred LeBlanc, an Amesbury resident and former “angry commuter,” started @mbta_alerts in 2009 to keep T riders informed about delays. However, to the dismay of many, he announced last week that it was shutting down.

Matt Cloyd of Code for Boston said it seemed unfortunate to leave thousands of followers stranded, so he wanted to pick up where LeBlanc left off.

“I know how valuable it is to be aware of how the T is running,” Cloyd said. “When I told my friends the (MBTA Alerts!) account was shutting down, they were really upset. They depended on the account all the time.”

LeBlanc decided to phase out the account due to the MBTA’s new T-Alerts system, which made it impossible to auto-tweet service updates because they were too long. Cloyd’s system fixes that bug.

Cloyd said the alerts will hash tag certain routes, and will be “Twitter friendly.” The alerts should start rolling in by the end of the month.

The project is fits well with Code for Boston‘s mission to help better communities through the use of technology. The volunteer group is comprised of roughly 200 activists, developers, designers, urban planners, and community leaders who work with local governments to build open-source civic apps, open public data sources, and generally help to leverage technology for use in the public sphere.

Harlan Weber, the local “Brigade Captain,” told Metro that the city is a perfect place for a Code for Boston chapter.

“We have a huge technological base of designers and entrepreneurial thinkers who can bring their skills from the private sector to help make government better,” said Weber. “The (@mbta_alerts account) seemed like a great opportunity for us to provide a service to the community. People rely on it everyday.”

The local chapter opened in October 2012.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Local

NYPD arrest man after finding body inside plastic…

Police said they found a man stuffed inside a plastic container in a Brooklyn home. Authorities arrested Joshua Simser, 24, in connection to the death

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.