Now you can get Twitter alerts directly when your Tube line is delayed

 
Lynsey Barber
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ALert on delays delivered straight to your door (Source: Getty)

Want to know when there's delays on your Tube line before you head to work?

Now you can get simple direct updates on delays and any other issues with services direct to your phone via Twitter, making the faff of searching and checking updates obsolete.

Transport for London (TfL) has teamed up with Twitter to deliver live travel updates through direct messages in a world first.

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"Currently, obtaining live travel information via Twitter means having to visit the relevant account or searching through your timeline for the latest Tweets," said Cornelia Raportaru of Twitter's partnership developments.

"This pilot will, for the first time, allow notifications to be sent straight to customers’ mobile devices while they are on the go, or direct to their computer, free of charge as a ‘Direct Message’. This will mean that customers can be informed straight away and avoid disruption."

The innovative scheme will be tested over the summer and could be extended to other travel route such as roads if it proves successful.

It also has the backing of the new London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

"Like every Londoner I rely on public transport to get me around and this world-first service looks set to become an essential tool for millions of Tube passengers. It is an innovative way of providing people with live updates from the Underground and contributes to my goal of making it as easy as possible to get around the capital," he said.

How it works

Sign up to the lines you want to get alerts from on TfL's website.

You can also tailor the timings for when you regularly travel - no one wants travel updates when you're having a Sunday morning lie-in.

Currently it's being tested on the Central and District lines, Overgorund and rail routes run by TfL.

As well as being an incredibly useful tool for Londoners, it's a coup for Twitter which is struggling to grow the number of people using it.

Transport for London and its Tube lines have a significant number of followers that's in the millions. An innovative service such as this could help attract people to the platform, if successful and rolled out globally.

@bakerloo 50k

@centralline 135k

@circleline 50.2k

@districtline 73k

@hamandcityline 46.4k

@jubileeline 81.2k

@metline 61.4k

@northernline 108k

@piccadillyline 87.9k

@victorialine 79.2k

@wlooandcityline 43.8k

@LondonDLR 52.2k

@LDNOverground 243k

@TfLRail 44.2k

"Whether you’re on Twitter already or thinking about joining, we would urge you to try this new service out as it will prove essential in avoiding delays," said Twitter's UK managing director Dara Nasr.

"We’re committed to continuing to make Twitter the simplest everyday utility to access key public information, be that transport or beyond.”

Read more: Twitter changes 140-character limit (giving investors more room to moan)

The innovation is a surprise move after TfL had indicated earlier this year that it was moving away from Tweeting live updates after Twitter decided on making a change to its algorithm which would sort Tweets by relevance and interest rather than in time order, losing the real-time update nature. It later backtracked on such intent and it now seems the two are working even more closely together than ever.

"We feel Twitter is the perfect platform to provide this service, offering an invaluable way of delivering the information in a way that’s concise and timely," TfL's lead social media and content editor Steven Gutierrez said in a blog post.

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