For immediate release: July 20, 2016
Metro invites public to preview the new wmata.com
Following yesterday's release of real-time train data to app developers, Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld today invited the public to preview an entirely redesigned wmata.com, which is entering the final stages of development.
For the first time in eight years, Metro is overhauling its website and, during a multi-week beta period, customers are being asked to try out the redesigned site and provide feedback before the site formally launches later this summer.
Nearly half of Metro customers visit wmata.com at least once a month to plan a trip, and 60 percent of those users visit the site via mobile device, a dramatic increase from just two years ago. To respond to this trend, the new website is designed to look great on today's smartphones and tablets, seamlessly adapting to the user’s environment based on screen size and orientation.
“Metro’s new customer-focused website builds on our commitment to being more accountable, clear and transparent with the way we deliver customer information,” said Wiedefeld. “The new site gives riders the tools they use the most, front and center, in a much more mobile friendly, easy-to-use format. We look forward to incorporating additional customer feedback as this final testing phase gets underway.”
Metro's website is among the largest and most complex transit websites in the U.S., with more than 1,000 pages and traffic averaging nearly 22 million pageviews each month from more than 1.6 million users. The site is the preferred source for Metro information, particularly during service suspensions and delays.
Among the site’s new features:
- Responsive Web Design. Webpages are automatically and seamlessly scaled to present information based on the screen size of the device being used, whether it’s a tablet, smartphone or PC.
- Floating Quick Link Toolbar. Always available on every webpage, the toolbar provides one-click access to real-time service alerts, Trip Planner, next bus and next train arrivals.
- Streamlined Trip Planner. Customers now have an easier way to plan trips by bus, rail or both. The new trip planner incorporates dynamic maps and new features including showing the first and last trips of the day. As always, customers can select their preferred departure or arrival time with options that get them there with the least amount of walking, the fewest transfers or in the fastest amount of time.
- Improved Site Navigation. With improved menus, more space and clearer organization, riders will be able to get the information they need with fewer clicks.
- Optimized Alerts & Advisories. Updated service information from Metro's control centers is displayed instantly in a prominent location on every page as customers navigate through the entire site.
- HTML5 Geo-location Technology. The user experience is enhanced when riders allow the site to use location services. The website will automatically display the nearest transit service and populate the trip planner based on the customer’s current location.
- Customizable Bus Timetables. Until now, bus customers seeking schedule information had two choices: either download a PDF or use the trip planner. On the new wmata.com, bus schedule information is presented in HTML format, enabling users to create and print timetables that are customized for them and show only arrival times at the bus stops they use.
Customers can access the test site by navigating to beta.wmata.com from their web browser and provide feedback to Metro at email@example.com. Metro is advising customers that the website is in beta stage, meaning portions of the site are still under development, and some pages and features may not yet be available. The current version of wmata.com will remain available to riders until the beta stage is completed.
The development and launch of the new website is the latest project to be delivered as part of the General Manager’s Customer Accountability Report (CARe). For more information about CARe, visit wmata.com/gmplan.