Open Transit Website

Ryan Mahoney
October 2, 2023

The Transit Website Riders Deserve

Transit leaders aim to provide a modern website that prioritizes mobile users. This site will be secure, support multiple languages, and ensure full accessibility and infosec compliance. It will intuitively integrate schedules, live updates, and tools for riders, simplifying public transit use. The goal is to largely automate the site, ensuring its constant availability without added tech concerns. By streamlining access to accurate data, the website will ease the journey for newcomers and strengthen trust with regular commuters.

Transit agencies face numerous challenges in providing a dependable and effective website that meets their customers’ needs. These challenges include integrating complex transit data, balancing content demands from various stakeholders, navigating information security hurdles, and collaborating with external digital agencies that might not fully grasp the subtleties of transit data and rider preferences. Each step towards website modernization unveils new, unexpected complications.

The 4-Step Plan to Re-Launch

It seems wrong how difficult it can be to deliver what is a standard digital service. At TransitOPS, we’ve faced many organizational and technological hurdles in developing an advanced open-source website platform for public transit. Now, with a robust agency website that has successfully handled cyberattacks, traffic surges, and vendor data interruptions, we are well-equipped to guide agencies toward a reliable and low-risk website launch that their staff, leaders, and riders can be proud of.

We provide transit agencies with a 4-step plan to avoid the risks of needlessly rebuilding freely available transit website technology, such as the Open Transit Website and Open Trip Planner.

The steps include the following:

  1. Survey their realtime data landscape

  2. Identify the most reliable and cost-effective off-the-shelf technology

  3. Create a customization and implementation plan

  4. Oversee or implement a website launch strategy

Our unique technology resource is driven by a social mission: to serve riders with technology that modernizes transit and bridges inequalities. We boast the industry’s leading record in delivering cutting-edge, cost-effective website solutions for riders. By partnering with TransitOPS, agencies receive a ready-to-customize website rather than starting from zero. This approach leverages the robust open-source foundation laid by the MBTA.

Reducing All Website Deployment Risks

We are interested in talking to agencies about a wide range of website concerns, including:

  • displaying static transit data, such as schedules

  • displaying realtime transit data, such as arrival time predictions

  • combining static and realtime transit data (scheduled-predictions)

  • incorporating rider tools (trip planning, transit near me, interactive maps)

  • integrating with customer support infrastructure

  • addressing rider expectations through user research

  • achieving fast page loads

  • avoiding reliance on expensive third parties (Google Maps)

  • supporting content authors and access controls for static content

  • achieving high-availability

  • instrumenting potential failure points and developing run-books for incident management

  • updating maps and line diagrams in realtime

  • supporting emergency communications

  • meeting the security requirements and standards set by the US government

  • passing penetration tests

  • protecting private information

  • low operating costs

  • zero downtime deployment

  • responsive design

  • accessible to assistive technologies and in compliance with accessibility laws

Ultimately, transit leaders don’t want to get bogged down in another technology maze when they can instead focus on broader strategic concerns of their agency while their website hums along, providing riders with all the information expected in a time of high-rider expectations in website quality and availability of realtime information.