By Jeremy Lipps, @Digital_Lipps
Anyone who has looked in on Caltrain in the Twitter world has undoubtedly encountered one of the many spoof accounts. Whether it’s the unforgivingly logical CaltrainGrump or the somewhat sanctimonious CaltrainFail, we’ve almost all seen these guys out there being critical, fielding questions and firing off the mandatory Twitter snark. They all have opinions on everything from the bike car to High Speed Rail and even the particular brand of musk emanating from the gallery cars on warm summer days.
More important than all that, these accounts serve to support and correct our mission. When the line is impacted by a fatality or other delay, these accounts retweet critical messages, amplifying the reach of vital information. We appreciate the centering effects of many of these accounts in keeping us humble, well-informed and in check. When we are behaving like we’ve been raised in a barn – instead of a far more civilized rail yard – CaltrainManners is there to remind us of all the things our Mothers taught us. Their support is invaluable to Caltrain during major service disruptions and in getting a variety of informed points of view on all issues under the transit umbrella.
The Grump cuts through the emotional Caltrain experience with crisp critique, a solid knowledge of the organization and an anonymity that gives him – or her – virtual freedom. No one (that we are aware of) knows who is behind Grump, but ‘his’ knowledge is suspiciously insider, amazingly accurate and usually spot on. Grump is both a critic of the agency and a helpful entity when the mass of public opinion sways too far towards the abyss. A Grump sighting is as rare and wonderful as spotting a Sasquatch in its native habitat, so keep your eyes peeled.
— Caltrain Grump (@CaltrainGrump) June 19, 2013
This account adds that soft feminine critique of the Caltrain experience. Obviously a nod to Miss Manners, she critiques the oft ill-advised etiquette blunders that are ever present on the train. From the oh-so-common feet on seats or the wide, rich and varied array of smells on the train, CaltrainManners has sage advice on keeping your manners intact throughout your travels. But beware of Ms. Manners she has a smart phone and she will discreetly document your indiscretions for all of Twitter to see!
— Caltrain Manners (@CaltrainManners) May 16, 2013
Fail is the unapologetic little brother who tagged along with you on your commute. He ridicules, critiques, makes fun of, cusses, gets sarcastic and has no qualms about any of it. Watch for this brash account to bring the heat with a dash of twirpy 6th-grade humor.
@tullymox you’re free to walk the whole way homie.
— Caltrain Fail (@caltrain_fail) June 21, 2013
Caltrain Diaries trolls #Caltrain and bubbles up the best and most focused rider experiences. Riding Caltrain is a unique experience with the waves of morning tech commuters, mobs of pumped Giants fans and the always exciting delays. Diaries is there to RT only the finest rider tweets.
— Caltrain Diaries (@caltraindiaries) June 21, 2013
The Crowd Sourcer:
@CaltrainStatus is rider fed to keep the latest information available on a train by train basis. Once a rider has successfully been absorbed into the account’s process they are able to provide updates on the current status of their train. While we try to provide the most up to date info, there is no substitute for real-time rider info on the ground.
— Caltrain Status (@CaltrainStatus) June 24, 2013
News is the official feed from the Public Affairs department of Caltrain. Built on reliable service updates and a painfully self-deprecating wit, News tries to keep the public informed about all the goings on at 1250 San Carlos Ave., Caltrain World Headquarters. GoCaltrain is the official Caltrain marketing account and provides promotional information and customer support.
— Caltrain (@Caltrain_News) June 21, 2013