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This Public Transportation Twitter Account Got Shockingly Real About Its Problems

At first, people thought it was drunk tweeting.

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On Wednesday night, the city announced on Twitter that a popular BART line, the Pittsburg/Bay Point line, would be suffering from major delays, just in time for rush hour.

Equipment problem is causing delays on the Pittsburg/Bay Pt line. Read here for more info: https://t.co/PgyBUYHEKd

Needless to say, people who replied to the tweet were NOT feeling it.

@SFBART well I'm sick of paying $12a day for a crappy ride. Can't wait for new trains with less seats w/same old tracks. Stand 50 min! 😁🔫

@MarilynDroukas @SFBART not to mention the parking situation and how some of the stations are unbearable

@SFBART This is what BART has been saying for years. Wait for the plan! That and a pile of excuses. Your incompetence is clear.

But @SFBart started replying to the complainers VERY frankly.

@shakatron BART was built to transport far fewer people, and much of our system has reached the end of its useful life. This is our reality.

In the tweets, "BART" candidly admitted that the train system wasn't really in peak condition.

@CBonneaux We have to fix what we have first - our system was built to last about 45 years and we've reached that limit.

It used weary hashtags...

@cliberti We have 3 hours a night to do maintenance on a system built to serve 100k per week that now serves 430k per day. #ThisIsOurReality

... and acknowledged that politics are involved.

@LipschitzChippy It's not a surprise - but funding for enormous infrastructure projects doesn't typically appear without a pressing need.

But the account also defended itself against the haters.

@jbcastle2 The Oakland Airport Connector is modern, clean, and fabulous to ride. You should try it.

@scottopia We've been working around the clock to maintain what we have & find ways to move forward - no one at BART has given up. No one!

Things got even realer as the tweets continued.

@BGRod10 We need to replace 90 miles of rail.

@alexisbritt Common misconception. But in all seriousness, we hate disruptions as much as you do. Our workers - we - commute on BART too.

@tquad64 Planners in 1996 had no way of predicting the tech boom - track redundancy, new tunnels & transbay tubes are decades-long projects.

"BART" even took smug New Yorkers to task.

@vijayp It's more nuanced than that. MTA has redundant tracks & was built differently than BART - but yes, we have a plan to fix things.

At first, some people assumed whoever was running the Twitter account to be a few sheets to the wind.

A weirdly honest drunk is at the helm of BART twitter right now. https://t.co/l7AKCB3egg

But the San Francisco Chronicle interviewed the person behind the @SFBART Twitter account, a communications manager named Taylor Huckaby, who said he was trying to make the account more efficient and effective.

“Government is often cautious to a fault,” Huckaby told the Chronicle. “Twitter is not a medium for shouting into the dark, it’s conversational."

And people seemed to appreciate the honesty.

I'm actually liking the honest replies BART is giving - I think the "cheerful, anodyne" replies were maddening. https://t.co/uoVPQP7ySK

@SFBART Thanks for honest info about BART's challenges; hope the public can support solutions and not just heap uninformed abuse.

BART Twitter is turning out to be excellent Twitter. This one tweet has started a reasoned, honest discourse. https://t.co/nQw7K2bAVO

The exchange even inspired another local transit account to get cheeky.

@eviloars So long as you have proof of payment, it’s whatever your heart tells you.

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