Metro Transit

MN: Metro Transit Website Improvements Provide Better Mobile Access, Easier Trip Planning

Metro Transit has rebuilt its website to improve online trip planning and expand access to transit tools and content for customers using mobile devices.

The site’s most popular application, the online Trip Planner, has been integrated with interactive regional transit mapping and real-time predicted departure times. A new responsive design allows customers to access all of the site’s pages and transit tools – including map-based trip planning with GPS integration and Metro Transit’s online store – in a format optimized for mobile devices and tablets.

The new mobile design aligns with Governor Dayton’s Plain Language initiative. In March, the Governor issued an Executive Order directing all state agencies to present information in commonly-used language through easily accessible formats.

The launch of the new website comes two weeks before the June 14 opening of the METRO Green Line and significant corresponding changes to connecting bus routes.

“The new environment is a leap forward for customers exploring our growing transit system,” Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb said. “Mobile devices in particular have fundamentally changed the way our customers use and think about our bus and rail network.”

The redesign was informed by hundreds of hours of feedback and testing from both frequent and occasional customers, as well as visually-impaired site users and those trying transit for the first time. In addition to planning trips, customers use the website to purchase fare cards and to learn about planned transit improvements, service changes, promotions, effective riding tips and more.

One of the transit industry’s first web sites, it  first went live in 1997. Online trip planning features were introduced in 2000 and NexTrip, which provides real-time predicted departure times from thousands of transit stops, has been available since 2008. The site has evolved through several iterations with the most recent overhaul occurring in 2010. Currently, more than 500,000 trips are planned each month on the website and the site attracts more than 250,000 unique monthly visitors.