UPDATE: Whoa Nelly! Thank you beta testers for crashing the new Trip Planner:)
Since launching the beta website, traffic has increased more than 5,000 percent causing momentary disruption in the new trip planner however, they are expected to be back up soon. Thank you for your patience!
We’re ready to share a new version of metro.net that has been redesigned, re-engineered and updated to focus on you — our riders. Beginning today, beta.metro.net is available for preview and will continue to be in public beta until the end of the year. The anticipated launch date for the new site is January.
We invite you to check out the new website and would appreciate your comments and suggestions. All comments and suggestions will be vetted and considered for changes to the new site, which will replace the current design that dates to 2009.
We know that we have more work to do — so we’ll be posting updates on The Source on new features that we’ll be adding between now and December. Thank you for joining us on a new way to Go Metro. Here is a rundown of the new features:
New Trip Planner
We’ve rebuilt the Trip Planner from the ground up. The new trip planner is completely integrated with the website and provides multimodal options (bus, train, bike, pedestrian) with service alerts as part of your itinerary (i.e. if a service alert or planned advisory is part of your trip, it will show up on the route).
Both scheduled and realtime arrivals for Metro are included and we’ll be adding service data from 24 carriers until the end of the year. As we work to improve our trip planner we hope that you could send us feature request and/or suggestions on how we can improve this vital service.
Dynamic Maps & Map Data
You may have noticed the realtime or dynamic map that is front and center on the site. Maps are critical for travel and they are a core feature of the new website. We started with rebuilding the website’s database to use technology that recognizes geo-spatial information (addresses, latitude/longitude coordinates, etc).
This allows us to plot information on maps: service routes, bus stops, rail stations, service alerts, destination discounts and, eventually, construction notices. Many of you have been asking for this feature for a long time — and we’re ecstatic to finally build it! When entering service information, the map will react in real time to your selections. Please give it a try.
System Alerts & Advisories
As noted above, the service alert information is part of the Trip Planner and will automatically show up on your itinerary. You can still view all the alerts & advisories on one page. Throughout the years, you’ve let us know that you wanted this information in one place, rather than clicking on separate pages. Done!
Mobile First Focus
More than 65 percent of customers access metro.net on a mobile device, 30 percent on desktop computers and five percent on tablets. These metrics helped us focus the new website to be a mobile-first experience. This means that we must ensure that the core tasks needed to ride Metro — trip planning, realtime arrivals and service alerts — can be accomplished with a minimum number of clicks and the site must be easy to read and perform on small screens.
BTW: the new website uses geolocation technology — just like your mobile device — if you allow the website access to your GPS location. We’ll be improving this feature to present you more pertinent transit/travel information based on your location.
If you haven’t noticed, beta.metro.net looks VERY different. Our data driven approach focuses on pulling things to the forefront that you care about. We know about 75 percent of our customers access ridership info (Nextrip, maps, Trip planner, how to ride, fares). Knowing what you want helped us bring trip planning to the forefront and make it the focus of the new site!
- To keep the focus on the map, the new site navigation has moved to left side of the browser. The navigation is designed to easily find the things you want — hover over a navigation item to reveal the contents.
- Featured content in the promotional carousel has moved below the maps. They’ll be collectively displaying a theme rather than a single campaign.
- Videos: look for them, we’ve made videos a key and prominent element of a page design.
As we said, this is the beginning. We have A LOT more work to do. Metro.net is a huge website with many custom sections and features. Off the bat, here are some known issues:
- Red Line and Purple Line overlap on the map.
- Landmarks: customers cannot input landmarks as a destination or starting point in the Trip Planner.
- Breadcrumbs are missing from the site.
Did you catch a bug? Find a function that didn’t quite work? Have a suggestion? Please fill out our survey here and let us know!