April 7, 2011

Sound Transit revamps website, adds rider tools

Sound Transit launched a new website with features that make it easier for people to take advantage of bus and train service throughout the region.

In addition to a clean, intuitive design, the website features an improved trip planner with interactive maps that provide more information about transit connections and the locations of stations, stops and parking. Schedules are easier to read. Menus are designed to be more intuitive for riders. As before, the trip planner covers all Sound Transit services as well as those of other regional agencies.

"More than 90 percent of the people who log on to our website are riders. Their input was critical to our process," said Ron Klein, Sound Transit executive director of communications and external affairs. "We listened, we tested, we revised and we tested again."

Improvements to the trip planner include the ability to type in start and end points of a transit trip and see multiple options on an interactive map. The map allows riders to change the start and end points by dropping and dragging colored flags. The locations of parking facilities and transit stations and stops are easier to find than on the old trip planner.

Rider alerts — the best way to get breaking information on issues that affect service — have been highlighted and improved. Riders can continue to subscribe to receive rider alerts and an array of other information via e-mail or text messages.

Another enhancement featured is the "New Rider Guide" link, providing easy access to basic information about Sound Transit services.

The website will continue to undergo improvement in the weeks, months and years ahead. A major upgrade will involve the Sound Transit Projects and Plans section that can currently be found at the top right of the home page.

"We will continuously look for opportunities to improve the experiences of transit riders and everyone else who uses our website," Klein said. "If anyone has an idea for improving the site, we want to hear it."

Visitors to the new website can offer ideas and comments by clicking on the "submit feedback" button at the top right of every page.

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