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A transit agency's website is an important point of communication with passengers. The agency's website can be the first place that passengers seek out important information, such as route maps and fare prices. Websites should be clear and easy to navigate. The agency website can be a place to give detailed information to passengers, while internet communications, such as Facebook and Twitter, can offer a more personal component for addressing passenger concerns and giving timely updates. It is also important for websites to offer the option to increase text size and access translations in languages other than English.
There are several basic elements that will help passengers to feel more informed and prepared to use the transit system:
- Trip planning - Route maps and schedules are useful for trip planning, and embedded forms that plug into an online maps application are becoming ubiquitous. These applications can allow users to print directions for each step of their trip alongside maps of points of transfer.
- Fare information - Fare information should explain general fare costs and should outline whether the agency offers discounted fares for seniors, students, and other groups. The website should also explain whether fares differentiate by time of day and direction. This section of the website should also explain the methods of payment available, such as off-vehicle fare payment, automated fare media, and seasonal passes.
- Special programs - This section should include information about how people can access its ADA services and other special programs. For example, it should explain ways to access Travel Training, paratransit, or other programs for seniors.
- News Alerts - The agency website is also a great way to alert passengers to upcoming service changes or major delays. This feature is especially important for a mobile version of the website.