Metro Finally Updates The Look of Metro.net

2_12_10_metro.jpgImage: Metro.net

For months, Metro has been upgrading their online presence.  Between The Source, a twitter feed for service interruptions, and a Facebook page; you would think they hired a tech-savvy college student to upgrade their web presence.  Today, they belatedly launched the Beta version of their new website. Metro has high hopes that the new website is going to make project information and other information important to their riders and stakeholders more visible and easier to find.

My first impression is that the website upgrade is a good one.  By using tabs at the top of the page for the four different issues people would care about, "Getting Around," "News & Media," "Projects & Programs," and "About Us."  Putting your cursor over a tab leads you to a long list of links.  Thus far, I haven’t found a dead link or other issue that would make you think they rolled the new site out too soon.  What do you think of the new site?  Leave your comments below, I know Metro is reading.

  • kellyp

    What they really NEED is realtime arrival info at train and bus stops.

  • Erik G.

    TAP info in Spanish? Nah!

  • It’s a lot cleaner but those little links at the top that do all the heavy navigation will be a bitch on the iPhone, though I haven’t checked if there was a mobile version.

    Even though my iPhone can read the PDFs, not only are many mobiles incapable but it’s still a gigantic download and very slow to display–and even on a desktop computer it’s kind of annoying to load up a PDF viewer to see a bus route. I really wish there were HTML timetables (at least) and maps available that didn’t require such a giant overhead.

  • I think this website is really cool for people who drive a car to get places or don’t take public transit. Note to Metro, though I’ve already let them know this via their many social bs pr vehicles. On your PDF for service alerts for the 127 and 128 you have the 125 schedule on there. I know Metro doesn’t give a crap seeing that only 155 of Metro employees even bother to take it and 154 of those is probably taking the Red Line….

    Yeah when is a service alert about a bus happening, because I’m pretty sure Metro has a bus over 30 minutes late daily.

    Browne

  • Matthew

    What happened to the nice fat “maps” icon in the middle of the page? There should be gigantic links to maps, schedules, and a route planner. The font on the tabs is too small.

  • Dan

    I’m not a fan. It was difficult to find the trip planner. That is the single most important thing on the website. It shouldn’t be buried.

  • As a marketing tool, to show people that LA actually has a Metro I think the site is a success. We do monthly bike rides to get Dim Sum, and we often take the Gold Line to South Pasadena (gets us to the San Gabriel Valley) and ride to our destination.

    Every month, we get a batch of four or more people in a group of 20 or 30 who proclaim, “LA has a train system?!”.

  • ds

    “I’m not a fan. It was difficult to find the trip planner. That is the single most important thing on the website. It shouldn’t be buried.”

    The trip planner is absolutely horrible. They need to hide it, or scrap it altogether.

    If you’re someone who doesn’t know anything about the Metro system you’ll be much less likely to ride when their pathetic trip planner tells you that you have to take a 3 hour trip involving 4 different busses, when you could just take the Red Line and getting there in half an hour.

  • Yuri

    Like ds said, the trip planner leaves alot to be desired. Finding it is not a big problem for me, but its strange functionality is. I had noticed before that it fails to give obvious rail options in its “bus/rail” routes. I was hoping this would be fixed in the updated version but it looks like it isn’t. Google Transit gives more bus/rail options, finer time estimates and its maps are much nicer. The only thing it’s missing is incorporating all the rest of the municipal lines but I think eventually they will be. I read the BBB will be online this year. If they can’t match the level of Google, maybe Metro should partner with them, link to Google Transit and drop their trip planner. Because they could actually be doing the public a disservice by having a substandard trip planner that might be discouraging people from taking public transit. Perhaps they can focus their resources on providing a NextBus type service, which is sorely needed.

  • Craig

    The trip planner remains marginally usefull, and I still can’t believe that the train schedules are only viewable on a gigantic pdf file.

  • David Galvan

    RE: the trip planner.

    Yes it is a pain to use, but at least it has all the municipal lines in its database. For that reason, I still use both it and Google Transit the night before I take an unfamiliar public transit trip. Google Transit is much easier to use, but it doesn’t have L.A. DOT info. So, for example, Google Transit will tell you the best way to get from Sherman Oaks to Pasadena is using a bus, the red line, and the gold line for a 2 hour trip. Whereas the trip planner will tell you about the commuter express bus that can get you there in < 1hr and a half.

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