Metro’s New Website Now Available Online – Give Us Your Feedback!

Last February, most of you probably noticed that we changed the look of our main website, www.metrostlouis.org.  But while the home page changed appearance, the infrastructure and utility of the site largely stayed the same.  Now, Metro is launching a brand-new website with not only a new appearance, but also new organization of information and many new customer features.

What’s new?


New MetroBus route and MetroLink Station pages

Some of the biggest changes are the MetroBus route pages and the MetroLink station pages. They now includes embedded Google Maps and description of every MetroBus route. If a customer is thinking about taking a particular bus route, they can see where the line starts and ends, and view stops along the way. In addition, the route pages have pull-down HTML timetables that can more easily be viewed from a desktop or mobile phone.  PDF downloads are still available as well.

MetroLink station pages also have embedded Google maps, station photos and HTML timetables that allow customers to see station arrival times based on direction and day of service.

Both MetroBus and MetroLink route and station pages also include alerts for each bus route and MetroLink station.

Streamlined information on “How To Ride”

Another improvement is making “How to Ride” information more streamlined and easier to find. Information includes how to purchase your fare, boarding the bus or train, signaling your stop, and bringing on bikes or parking your car at a MetroLink station. These areas will continue to develop in accordance to customer feedback, and will eventually include more “How To” videos.

Better integration with social media and rider alerts

Another function of the new website is integration with our social media and rider information delivery platforms. Every page will have sidebar information for news and information from the Nextstop blog, rider alerts and Metro’s Twitter feed. We will continue to expand the reach of social media and other means of timely communication to get information to riders.

Provide more information for community partners

Metro is in the business of providing public transit to the community, but that is just one service we provide as a development agency. On the new website, you will find more information about our other businesses – the Gateway Arch at the Core of Discovery and the St. Louis Downtown Airport – as well as our long-term projects Arts in Transit and Moving Transit Forward Long-Range Plan. In addition, as the website continues to flesh out, more information we be made available for organizations and groups interested in transit-oriented development, sustainable development, alternative transportation and regional transportation information.

Also, information is available for people interested in doing business with Metro or joining the Metro team.

Emphasis on transparency and accountability

The new website features easy-to-find information on Metro projects and grants, public meeting and documents, board policies and other information.  Nextstop will continue to drive the discussion on changes at Metro and how they impact customers.

Flexibility and responsiveness to customer demand

The new website should be more user-friendly from a customer’s perspective, but it also allows Metro employees more control and access to content. If customers suggest that a particular feature would be helpful to include in website content, it can be more easily integrated into the new site.

We hope that you like the new website and its features for customers and community partners. Please tells us what you think – what you think, what could be added, and what will be especially useful for getting around on Metro.

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  • http://www.stl-style.com Randy V.

    What a vast improvement– well done! It’s so much more inviting and easy to navigate. I would definitely put this among the most attractive and user-friendly transit websites I’ve seen.

  • RJ K

    I’m just happy to say farewell to the PDF schedules! Could never get them to load on the Blackberry, and always found myself downloading dozens of files – that were sometimes dated. Is this format easier to update when service changes?

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      It’s basically the same as Google Transit, but without the 2 week required turn around time for Google.

  • James C

    It looks fantastic. Although you may want to change the location description of the Central West End Station: “This MetroLink station is centrally located, just north of Forest Park, within one of the most vibrant areas of Metropolitan Saint Louis.” Maybe someone mixed it up with the Forest Park station.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Good catch! I sent the change request immediately.

  • http://www.gatewaystreets.org Herbie

    I see it’s still possible to view and download the old PDF maps and schedules, but they are hidden in the right column. The links should be moved into the center column underneath the map, or at the very least the white background of the center column should bleed to the right to make the route specific links more obvious (similar to the related articles section within a Streetsblog article).

  • Cheryl

    I really like the new website. I especially like how you have integrated the alerts with the schedules. For example, when you look at the #42 schedule, you immediately see two alerts for that schedule.

    I like using google maps to show the route of the bus, instead of the out of scale maps from before.

  • Brian

    When will Moving Transit Forward content be added? Right now, such links go right back to the redesigned home page.

  • Johnny

    Hi! Probably not a critical feature, but I just noticed that the link for Moving Transit Forward just reopens the Metro frontpage in a new browser window.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Yeah, we’ve noticed that broken link as well. IT is working to get it fixed now. Thanks!

  • Jordan S.

    This is the best improvement ever. I wonder if they can use it for the Moving Transit Forward wbsite.

  • http://www.stevenley.com Steve L

    Hi Courtney!

    It looks fantastic. I love to see the increased focus on html scheduled for improved accessibility in browsers & mobile devices. I also love the further integration of Google Transit services, as Metro & STL will benefit from reduced cost of management and software development while leveraging benefits(and contributing to) a system that is used and tested worldwide!

    Ok, one feature request though, I’d really like to see an ajax autofill/dropdown of common station names in the origin and destination fields. This can possibly save time and avoid several clicks.
    Thanks to you and Metro for all of your hard work!
    Steve

  • dirk99

    difficult to find pdf schedules (almost impossible)—put an access feature on the home page, please.

  • Lia

    All I can say is that its about time the website gets updated.

  • Eli Karabell

    What an excellent website improvement. Happy to see that the PDF Format is gone.

  • freeme

    I can’t find a route map on this crazy website. The map that comes up has a see insert for downtown St. Louis stations, but there is no insert on or near the map.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      We have identified that as an issue, and will be working with the web team to add a overview page for the system maps.

  • nA

    I love the new layout especially the table layout for schedules. I have one small suggestion. One does have option of downloading schedules in PDF which are listed to the right but those links are not easily identifiable.

    Probably having small pdf icons to the left of them might make them more discoverable/identifiable.

    Overall, it’s a great improvement!

  • Mike Spaulding

    How difficult can it be to have a hot button for a system Metrolink schedule? This site is horrible for finding simple information.

  • Rena

    There was nothing wrong with the old website. It could have remained the same with added features such as the maps. Just as dirk99 said it is difficult to find the pdf schedules. Give your riders a choice of maps routes or pdf. I would like the pdf form over the map. All I wanted was to get the schedule for the 42 been on your site for 40 minutes still have not found it. Do the trip finder it gives me routes for Illinois were I don’t live, so getting these routes will not do me any good. Sometimes you just need to leave well enough alone.

  • AL HUEBNER

    LOOKS GOOD TO A DESIGNER BUT ITS A PIECE OF FECES TO USE (LIKE MOST OF DESIGN WORK TURNS OUT). PEOPLE COME TO USE SCHEDULES & MAPS BUT NOW 3-5 NEW UNNECCESARY PAGES HAVE TO BE USED TO DO WHAT ONE CLICK ON THE OLD SITE DID WHAT YOU WANTED & NEEDED. GO BACK TO THE OLD SIMPLE “PICK A ROUTE, PICK SCHEDULE OR MAP, PRINT” RATHER THAN ALL THIS UNNECCESARY DUNG…[ed. note: content edited for language]

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Thanks for the feedback everyone (though please avoid using offensive language). We will talk to the web team and see if we can highlight ways to see the downloadable pdfs listed on the right hand side of all the MetroBus and MetroLink station and route pages, and see about a homepage link.

  • nA

    Are the schedules loaded correctly into the table layout. I am confused. For example, for Northbound #10, 5th row in the AM section ends at 12:32 but the PM section for that same row starts from 12:24. Is something wrong here?

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      No, I believe it refers to 12:32 a.m. and 12:24 p.m. The a.m. and p.m. columns are literally for those time periods, not necessarily continuing into the next part of the day. The way the data is entered separates the times into their literal categories.

  • matt c

    I think this is a great redesign. It’s much more intuitive than the giant list of schedules and maps that the website had before. The only change I would make would be to add PDF links on the main metrolink schedule page (http://www.metrostlouis.org/PlanYourTrip/MapsSchedules/MetroLink.aspx) similar to what you have on the indvidual bus route pages. As it is you have to click through to a station page to get the link to the schedules.

    Keep up the great work

  • Bob D.

    It’s awful. If I wanted to check two route schedules before to make a connection, it was simple – go to the schedule list, click two schedules, they pop up and I can compare them.

    Now… it involves scrolling through the list to find the route (why aren’t the Missouri routes first?), waiting for the route map to load, selecting a direction (which requires some thought on the diagonal routes), selecting the right day, hitting the “go” button, scanning for the nearest stop and then the times in unfamiliar right-to-left order… and then opening a new tab/window so that you can do it all again.

    On top of that, everything is in miniature type. Who actually thought this would be an easier way of doing things?

    I’m disgusted. Whoever said “this site is horrible for finding simple information”… I completely agree.

  • http://hederadesign.com Jeremy Ivy

    I can’t use your site now, it’s not worth the effort. As a designer yes it ‘looks’ pretty, but that’s basically like walking into a poorly constructed house and saying “my that’s lovely accenting you’ve done.” while the floor slopes at a 45 degree angle.

    The web is not a print medium. I suggest you talk to some people who are savvy about user experience and user-oriented interfaces.

    I as well used to frequently bookmark pdf’s on my iPhone. The mobile experience for the new site is extremely shoddy. From a user experience standpoint, I’d say zero user experience testing went into this thing. You could have spent your money far more wisely.

    I very much LIKE the convenience of pdf schedules on my phone. I went to them one day in the middle of horrible cold winter weather (where I usually am when I look up a bus time – at a bus stop) and found the link to the pdf’s was broken! A bright idea would be to store the pdf’s in a publicly accessible folder on your server, and NEVER EVER move them. That way if a file is updated, it’s automatic.

  • FK

    Can only agree with what others have said. What was once a slightly difficult site to navigate has now become nearly impossible.

  • RTBones

    Hi Courtney,

    A couple nits – the link to access Trip Finder continuously seems to appear at the bottom left of the screen after you have selected a route to look at, not top right as your picture shows. Done this with several browsers with the same effect.
    Dont try to find connection information – thats still a hassle. One thing you might try: after you select your route, and it displays times for each time point – where the time points are listed, you could add a line with connecting route numbers at that point. Additionally, the website is not mobile friendly. As has been pointed out, its hard to read PDFs on a Blackberry. They may be convenient some phones (they are nice to have), but not others.

    It looks nice, but looks are not everything.

  • RTBones

    Courtney,

    A further note: you still dont always see some connecting buses. Example: I know the 1 gets to Pershing and Debaliver (sp?) at 0600. I know there is a westbound Red Line train that leaves Forest Park at 0609. PLenty of time to make that train. Yet getting Trip Finder to make that connection and show it to me is nearly impossible.

  • Phil

    The redesign is much better than the previous PDF stuff: more informative and more useful. Better than google transit, since google transit gives bad info when a holiday falls on a weekday or Saturday (New Year’s Day is one example of where the metro site was more reliable yet as easy to use as google transit site.)

    Well done!

  • RM

    The new website is very iphone-unfriendly, which makes finding the information I need difficult on the go. The old version was easier to use in this respect. A mobile version of the site would be a huge help!

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Thanks for the input everyone! We have a website update meeting soon, and all of your feedback will be incorporated into the discussion, particularly the visibility of pdf maps. We appreciate your input.

  • Katheryn

    I think that the new website is information overload, but it can be navigated fairly easily once you figure out how it works. But I still have the same problem that I had with the other – the bus routes are labeled Northbound, Southbound, Eastbound, and Westbound on the site… exactly where on the BUS does it say which direction it is going? the buses are labeled with their end destination, not their navigational direction. Please try to be more consistent with the labeling. Either all of the buses have navigational labels to match the website, or the website lets you choose the the label that is noted on the top of the bus… too confusing otherwise.

  • Jeanette

    Am fairly new to website. Nice to use. Would like a key to abbreviations. FS I assume is Far Side, but not specify which street I cross (cross street to left of bus or in front of bus). Driver has guided me wrong on more than one occasion. Also where to catch bus (on street – such as Lindbergh) or behind gas station at same location. Have gone to wrong stop on more than one occasion because not sure and missed the correct bus. Jeanette

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Jeanette, on what page do you see FS?

  • C. E. Fuhro

    I do not like the way in which the PDF timetables are hidden. I liked it much better when all of the timetables were shown, the Monday through Friday schedules along with the Saturday, Sunday, and Holiday schedules. This was much simpler and easier for me to work with.

  • tom mehan

    All i want to do is go to the website and print a copy of the metrolink schedule. Darn near hard find and then when I do print it, it is too small to read. Help

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Tom,

      We’re aware that some of the timetables are difficult to read, due to sheer amount of data. You can pull up the stations individually on the right hand side, or I could mail you a couple of paper copies if you email me clslogerATmetrostlouis.org. I’ll pass along your comment as well. Thanks, I hope this helps!

  • LACY

    EXCELLENT SERVICE AWARD GOES TO METRO’S CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! I RECENTLY CALLED METRO WITH AN ISSUE I WAS HAVING, I WAS TRANSFERRED TO 4 DIFFERENT PEOPLE. EACH OF THEM WERE VERY COURTEOUS, PLEASANT, PROFESSIONAL & VERY HELPFUL IN RESOLVING MY ISSUE. HATS’ OFF TO YOU ALL.

    I’D LIKE TO SEE THE SAME WITH THE DRIVERS. (PLEASE)

  • Tim T

    It’s Jan. 20, 2011. It snowed last night. I don’t want to learn all the features on your “new” website. I want to know if the trains are running and on time. Where is that information on your website and why isn’t it the first thing I see when your website opens ? Isn’t Metro a public transportation organization ?

    • http://www.metrostlouis.org/ Jennifer

      If you notice on the home page, right under the schedules section are the Rider Alerts. You can subscribe to the RSS feeds and have them delivered to your computer or mobile device so you’re always aware of any important information affecting the Metro schedules. This morning the MetroLink is running fine and the buses are slightly delayed due to difficulty navigating the streets. Visit the full Rider Alert page for more detailed information at http://metrostlouis.org/PlanYourTrip/RiderAlerts.aspx.

  • Brenopa

    Good web design integrates useful and attractive appearance with ease of use and functionality. You cannot have one without the other. As a former print designer, the patriotic color scheme is less than satisfactory, but the chaotic links and access to various sites disturbs me more. That being said, any progress is a step in a right direction. Now, about your print schedules: They are full of errors and quite hideous. It’s great to have schedules online, but if you ride the bus or train daily, as I do, you need to have a quick and accurate reference at hand. I don’t want to have to pull my phone out just to see when the next bus arrives. Not that it will come at the printed time, anyway.

    • http://www.nextstopstl.org/ Courtney

      Brenopa, thanks for the feedback on the print schedules. Do you have any ones in particular that you are finding errors? I can talk to the scheduling department about specific concerns.