You might think that now you’ve used FixMyTransport to contact a transport operator, your work is done. Well, perhaps it is – sometimes, all you have to do is ask. But, more than likely, your issue could do with a little help.
Here’s what to do next, if you want to make FixMyTransport really work for you.
- FixMyTransport allows other people to discuss or join your campaign – and you need to attract as many as you can. Campaigns with lots of supporters are taken more seriously by everyone, including the operator.
- Keep the conversation going. Every time you receive a comment or a supporter, your page goes back to the top of the recent issues list – one of our most-read pages. So don’t just create your page and forget about it. It’s worth replying to others, adding updates, and drumming up support, perhaps over a period of several days.
Work that social media
- There are buttons at the top of your campaign that allow you to broadcast your issue via Twitter, Facebook or email. You don’t have to bore the pants off your pals, but it’s worth tweeting a few times, maybe at different times in the day.
- Twitter is also great for targeting those who will be interested in your specific problem. Why not tweet your campaign URL to a local blog, newspaper, or even a celebrity, if you think they’d be interested? Or use a hashtag (#) for the location of your problem. Many cities and towns have a Twitter account that automatically retweets mentions.
Take it into the real world
- Not a big fan of social media? You can just as easily pass on the URL of your campaign page by word of mouth. Use a link-shortener like TinyURL, that lets you include a relevant a word or phrase in the new URL, and then it’ll be more memorable.
- Put messages where they will be seen – how about a post office window just by the bus stop?
- Or talk to your fellow passengers – they are the ones who are most affected by your issue, so they will care the most. Hand out that link and make sure they understand how to join a campaign (“Click on the big green button” should do the trick).
Don’t take no for an answer
- Some operators just don’t send a reply. Or you might receive a response, but it doesn’t fix your problem. If you believe your issue is worth pursuing, don’t give up.
- Now is the time to use FixMyTransport’s ‘ask an expert‘ button (as in the screenshot, above). Your message goes straight to the inboxes of the FixMyTransport volunteers, known as ‘Anoraks’. We have a long list of contacts, and several of us have experience in the transport sector, too.
- Our Anoraks are on hand to help you, but you can also take action yourself. There are plenty of next steps you can take – each will be suitable for a different type of issue.
- You might write to an independent watchdog, like Passenger Focus or Bus Users UK.
- It’s always worth involving your local councillor – they have a duty to ensure that public transport is working for their constituents.
- If your story has enough human interest, the local press might want to run a story.
- See if there’s a pressure group with the same interests as you. The best fit might be a local cycling group, or an accessibility charity, or a commuter group… there are organisations for almost every issue.
The nice thing about FixMyTransport is that you can do all this from your campaign page. Your messages, and any answers you receive, are all published on the page, making a permanent record for anyone else with the same problem in the future.
First impressions are everything
Take a good look at your FixMyTransport campaign page, or maybe ask a friend to have a look at it. Remember that people will arrive on your page with little or no previous knowledge of your issue. Does it make immediate sense? Is it framed as an issue that other people will actually want to support?
- If not, FixMyTransport does allow you to reword it. Just click the yellow button in the panel at the top of your page (image as above). Note – it does not alter the text of your message to the operator, which, in most cases, is sent as soon as you submit it.
Everything in order? Good! Now let’s see if we can get that bus shelter cleaned, that train to leave on time, or that ticket machine fixed.