Transit Strike Shows Power of Drupal, Cloud Computing [May 16, 2014]

Submitted on
Friday, May 16, 2014
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StateScoop

In October, Bay Area Rapid Transit, which provides public transportation to the city of San Francisco, found itself in a public labor dispute, which culminated in a four-day strike that halted transportation services.

With nearly 400,000 daily riders — San Franciscans who relied on the system for transportation — the department’s website found itself with 10 times its normal traffic as users looked for information on when trains would run again.

The increase in Web traffic normally would have shut the site down, but just weeks before, the transit system — affectionately known as BART — moved its Web operations to Drupal, hosted inside Acquia’s cloud.

“Drupal allowed them the space to innovate and find better ways to communicate with their users,” Todd Akers, vice president of public sector for Acquia, told StateScoop. “In addition, hosting on Acquia Cloud allowed them to reduce costs by 70 percent and gave them the elasticity needed to handle times of higher demand.”

Akers pointed to a similar situation Acquia worked on with the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority in October 2012. When Hurricane Sandy caused outages throughout the northeast, the department’s Web operations were able to keep running – keeping citizens informed – during times of crisis when communication is needed most.

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