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Fix the PG Transit Website

Posted on 6 April 2010

There’s a survey asking for feedback on the BC Transit website. One of the questions is:

Do you have any other comments about the BC Transit website that you would like to provide?

To which I said:

This is a very outdated site. For a person unfamiliar with the city and existing routes, this website is actually inferior to using a physical, paper schedule. At least in that situation you can see overlapping routes easily and mark particular points using your fingers or a pencil. Here we get individual, hard-to-read images of this that are difficult to read and fail to integrate information from more than one page. As someone who has lived here my whole life and uses the bus on a daily basis, the website is only useful as a quick check to see schedule updates. If I were a new user, I would call a cab.

It would be nice to see ANY use of the advances in online map-making and trip planning on this site.

The fact that there isn’t an RSS feed for transit alerts is astounding– people should not have to navigate to the website everyday on the off-chance that there’s a transit alert. Transit alerts are just that– alerts– not regularly planned events. It is not something that’s going to be incorporated into most people’s daily schedules, nor should it be in the age of feed readers, Facebook pages, and Twitter. There is very little to making it possible for people to subscribe to alerts using SMS (text messaging), email, or RSS feeds, and I am surprised this has yet to happen.

The number-one comment that I hear from anyone when I mention that I take the bus is how difficult it is to figure out the bus system in this city (Prince George). A well-designed website could help alleviate at least part of that problem and bring in many more transit users, particularly casual ones who will not invest in the half-hour project that is trying to figure out how to get from point “A” to point “B” under the current system. Please, do not underestimate the value of this website to attracting new users. A well-designed, easily navigable public transit website is a key component to any long-term growth in ridership.

If you agree, say so (and feel free to copy and paste from me).

Filed under: design, Prince George, transit

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