Tuesday, January 17, 2012


TriMet invited people to the town hall meeting through tweets, a notice on its website, emails to riders who have signed up for agency alerts and a press release. Thirty-three people posted questions on a TweetChat page Trimet created, using the hashtag #askneil. During the hour-long session, McFarlane answered 35 questions — though he didn’t actually do the tweeting.

About a dozen people gathered in the room with McFarlane to view the questions on a large screen as they came in. McFarlane dictated the responses, but agency personnel familiar with TriMet’s Twitter account — and Twitter’s 140-character tweet restrictions — did the tweeting. Meanwhile, communication department officials were on hand to ensure responses were consistent, IT department folks were on hand in case there were any technical difficulties (there were none) and a handful of agency officials from various disciplines were in the room in case a question required a more specific response. Another person monitored the questions to ensure McFarlane answered to all participants (rather than addressing multiple questions posed by a single person) and grouped similar questions together as they came in so McFarlane could issue a single response.


Anonymous said...

Well i guess this is the exact sorta thing we can come to expect from trimet, eh?

Erik H. said...

So...light rail insiders get unlimited access to TriMet...McFarlane is protected and shielded from the public (taxpayers and TriMet riders) by several levels.