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A Streetcar Named Social Media

David Markland at BlogDowntown.com offers a good lesson on how to turn Twitter dust into gold. Apparently, the folks who operate the Angels Flight twin streetcars on Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles like to tweet under the guise of twin cars “Sinai” and “Olivet.”

Markland picks up on some recent social media chatter, all about whether or not the 25-cent fare, unchanged since 1996, should be increased. Writes Markland:

Finances are sound according to John H. Welborne, president of Angels Flight Railway Foundation, the non-profit that oversees operations. Still, he notes, “I’ll never say we’re not worried about continuing to find additional funding.”

Welborne says he hoped Sinai and Olivet’s conversation would spur a community dialogue about a possible rate increase and continued ways to ensure the continued operation of the railway.

Welborne also reveals that a highly touted $198,000 grant for the 109-year-old streetcar operation announced in 2004 “made for a nice press release” but never actually materialized. Sounds to us like a good next tweet topic for Sinai and-or Olivet.

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