Transportation Alerts to Help Inauguration Goers Navigate Washington, D.C.

Text, e-mail alerts; twitter, RSS feeds; and a mobile site help users navigate crowds, traffic.

by / January 14, 2009

The Washington Post today announced it will provide transportation alerts to people using mobile devices in the D.C.-area on Inauguration Day. The tools will report traffic delays and tips to help people avoid congestion and navigate crowds. Users can sign up for text and e-mail alerts, follow a special Twitter or RSS feeds or visit Inauguration Central on

"With millions of people expected to attend one of the biggest D.C. events in decades, we're experimenting with new ways to bring users the information they need to easily get around the city," said Jonathan Krim, assistant managing editor for Local News at "Our mobile alerts will provide news and advice on the quickest routes to and from Inaugural events and the areas to avoid, helping people keep from getting stuck in transit and spend more time witnessing this historic moment."

The alerts will provide information on closures of roads, bridges subways and bus routes, weather updates, and other news affecting how people can avoid gridlock. Visitors and residents can also send in information about what they are experiencing in their areas. Users can provide information by text message, Twitter or E-mail. The two-way dialogue with users will help the Post deliver the best, real-time information to all who sign up.

Mobile alerts will begin at 5 a.m. on January 20th. They are available on both Web-enabled and non-Web enabled mobile devices and will run throughout the day and evening. Visitors and residents can sign up for mobile alerts by texting "INAUG" to WPOST (97678). (Users will receive up to 30 messages a day.)  The Post is also providing information on Twitter. Inauguration goers can follow "Dr. Gridlock," Post Transportation Reporter Robert Thomson, who will provide personal transit updates, plus links to important news articles. E-mail alerts are also available.

A target=New_Window>Web site designed specifically for mobile devices is one of The Post's first large-scale initiatives using mobile technology and user collaboration to deliver local transit news. After Inauguration Day, users will continue to receive relevant D.C.-area or national news alerts, unless they choose to cancel this service (standard text messaging rates apply on all SMS services).