Latest updates to beta.mbta.com

A few months ago we’ve launched our new pilot website, beta.mbta.com. We’ve received a ton of feedback, all of which was incredible valuable in shaping our design and making the new site better for all our riders. We’ve been working hard on addressing the comments and adding new site features. While there’s still a lot more to do, we wanted to share our work in progress and ask for your thoughts once again.

Below are some of the things that we’ve updated over the last few months.

Service Alerts

Service Alerts was one of the website features that we’ve improved since the initial pilot launch. All our research shows that timely information about service disruptions is extremely important to our users, so we made sure that it’s readily available on the new site.

If there are any important alerts for a bus, subway, or a commuter rail line, this gets pointed out right on the Home page with an alert icon next to that line’s link. The updated site now also displays relevant alerts on the Schedule and Station pages. Additionally, there is a way to look at all the current and future alerts and notices on the Service Alerts page.

Real-time Info

Another big improvement is the integration of real time information throughout the site. For example, in addition to the actual schedules, the Schedule pages now display the next estimated departures. Additionally, the Schedule page for the Commuter Rail shows whether the train is currently boarding and on what track (this is currently only available for trains at North and South stations, but we’re working on expanding the coverage).

Transit Near Me

Transit-Near-Me is a great feature that we’ve developed since our first launch. A website visitor can enter her location, and the site will show several stops and stations in the area. From there, it’s possible to click through to see the upcoming departures and schedules for the selected stop.

Fares

We’ve also expanded the website to better provide information about the MBTA Fares. We spent a lot of time trying to best organize the information and come up with simple explanations for all important aspects such as:

  • the various methods of payments
  • the ways these payment methods are used on buses, subway, commuter rail, and ferries
  • all the different rules about Zones, Transfers, One Way Rides, and Passes

Styling and Speed

Lastly, we’ve made numerous improvements throughout the site to improve the styling, make the site load faster, and improve the accuracy of our data.

More Work Ahead

We still have a ton of work ahead of us. We’re improving our schedule pages to include a timetable display for Commuter Rail, to integrate even more realtime information, and to improve the way the page looks on desktop and mobile devices. We’re updating the site to show important information about each route, such as the route maps, the connections, the stops, and all route variations. The site needs to be made more personalized so that it can show the information that is more relevant to each individual user. A Trip Planner is a frequently requested feature, so we’ll be adding it in the near future.

We would love to get your thoughts on our latest website updates. If you’d be so kind, check out beta.mbta.com and provide your feedback on the MBTA Beta Website Form.

We’re also looking for talented individuals to help Boston build the world’s best Mass Transit website. If you’re interested in making a positive impact and working with some cool technology, please send us a note at ctjobs@mbta.com.

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