Chicago Tribune article - CTA also rehabs Web site

Chicago Tribune LogoBy Jon Hilkevitch 
The Chicago Tribune
Published on: 12/15/08

A redesigned CTA Web site premieres Tuesday to make it easier for customers to find the transit help they need, officials said.

Only the Web address is the same:

The purpose of redeveloping the site from the ground up is to "give people information when they want it and where they want it," said Graham Garfield, CTA general manager of customer information.

Your Getting Around reporter got a preview last week of the improved site, which replaces a text-heavy format dating to 2002 that was difficult to navigate and did not have a "search" function.

The revised Web site provides a search engine, and it also offers quick links to the most viewed pages, including bus and train schedules, route maps, the Google Trip Planner and the CTA Bus Tracker system.

Fare information is also easier to access, and "How-To Guides" provide a primer for transit virgins. Status bars also provide alerts about emergencies or construction affecting service on the CTA's eight rail lines and all bus routes.

The basic content on the Web site is available in English, Spanish, Polish and simplified Chinese. of Park Ridge is working with the CTA on the Web site.

As part of a push to improve communications, the CTA will offer customers a free sign-up for e-mail and text message alerts about emergencies starting early in 2009, said Tony Coppoletta, CTA manager of external electronic communications. Riders can customize their alerts to get only the information that affects their commute.

In the meantime, surf the CTA's new Web site and let Getting Around know what you think.