Bike Share Operators and Social Media – User Engagement with Twitter

Many of the bike share operators whose systems I’ve mapped have accounts on Twitter – but do they use them to reply to customers, notify of system changes, or just tweet promotional measures? Have they built up an appropriately large set of followers? Do they tweet often? An active Twitter account is good customer service, one that replies to queries is great customer service! (N.B. Google has translated the Velib conversation above from French.)

There are 24 operators, for which I able to find a relevant Twitter account. The following table shows how they use it. This does of course leave several hundred other operators (many very small) for whom I could not find an account.

City System Name Size (Bikes) Twitter Account Foll-owers Repl-ies Bad News Score
Mexico City Ecobici 1100 @ecobici 21475 Yes Yes *****
Miami Beach DecoBike 540 @DecoBike 10321^ Yes No ****
London Barclays Cycle Hire 6300 @BarclaysCycle 6673 No Yes ***
Washington DC/Arlington Capital Bikeshare 1400 @bikeshare 5374 Yes Yes *****
Denver B-Cycle 400 @Denver_Bcycle 4652 No Yes ***
Minneapolis Nice Ride 1230 @niceridemn 4100 Yes Yes *****
Paris Velib 15700 @Velib_Paris 3094 Yes Yes ****
Boston Hubway 700 @hubway 3741 Yes Yes *****
Montreal BIXI 4300 @BIXImontreal 3214 Yes Yes ****
Toronto BIXI 820 @BIXItoronto 2801 Yes Yes ****
Barcelona Bicing 3800 @bicing 2358 Yes Yes ****
Boulder B-Cycle 120 @Boulder_Bcycle 1541 Yes Yes *****
Lille V’Lille 1550 @transpole_actu 1322^^ Yes Yes ***
Bordeaux VCub 1300 @tbc 1118^^ No No *
Melbourne Melbourne Bike Share 550 @MelbBikeShare 1095 No No ***
Chattanooga Bike Chattanooga 230 @BikeChattanooga 672 Yes No ****
Kansas City B-Cycle 80 @BikeShareKC 608 No Yes ****
Broward County B-Cycle 150 @browardbcycle 498 Yes No ****
Rennes Le Velo Star 630 @levelostar 384 Yes Yes ***
San Antonio B-Cycle 200 @SA_Bcycle 323 No Yes ****
Madison B-Cycle 220 @Madison_Bcycle 319 No Yes ****
Tel-Aviv Tel-o-fun 860 @tel_o_fun 226 Yes Yes ***
Brussels Villo 3100 @Villo_brussels 152 No Yes **
Ottawa Capitale 230 @capitalbixi 145 Yes Yes ***

^ = Account also handles smaller bike share systems in other cities.
^^ = Account also handles other public transport in the city.

Operators get a star for being on Twitter, another for having more followers than bikes on the street, another for replying directly to at least some user queries on Twitter, another for tweeting and least some system issues and other “bad news”, and another for having made at least a couple of tweets in the last 48 hours.

Large (500+ bike) systems with no active official Twitter account that appear on Brisbane, Luxembourg City, Lyon, Milan, Nice, Saragossa, Valencia and Vienna. Not including Chinese or South Korea systems as Twitter appears to not be widely adopted in these countries, at least in terms of official transport accounts. Metrics were measured on 21 August 2012.