'Friend' UAE transport chiefs... and tweet complaints

Suggestions and complaints are being welcomed on the Roads and Transport Authority's Twitter and Facebook pages.

Dr Aysha Al Busmait, of the Roads and Transport Authority, told the summit about their use of social media to get customer feedback and suggestions. Jeffrey E Biteng/The National
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DUBAI // Transport bosses are urging passengers to make complaints to help them improve services.

Grumbles and suggestions are being welcomed on the Roads and Transport Authority's Twitter and Facebook pages.

“We have to invite complaints and suggestions because this means we are listening to our audience,” said Dr Aysha Al Busmait, a  spokeswoman for the authority.

“Listening to them makes life easier for us – if we know what people are complaining about then we can solve it.

“We are hearing the public and listening very carefully to their suggestions.”

Dr Al Busmait said not all feedback had to be positive and stressed that those with grievances should not be afraid to share their views.

The authority hailed social-media sites as essential to gathering feedback and communicating messages during yesterday’s summit.

“Social media has changed the way we operate, it is a very important tool for the RTA,” Dr Al Busmait said. “We ensure that all our employees know how to deal with social media and this allows us to use it to its full potential.”

She said being able to contact officials simply by logging into social media  invited greater participation and feedback, especially during crisis management.

“We can now send our messages in one tweet and reach tens of thousands of people, so it makes it easier for us to get messages like road safety out there,” she said. “But a larger part is engagement with the public.

“Managing the service is a real challenge but for people it is easier to tweet us than call a call centre and we are confident that we now have a clear policy and procedure to deal with these requests and are ready to respond.”

The authority’s Twitter account, @RTA_Dubai, has about 60,000 followers and provides updates on public transport and roads and safety campaigns.