Some of the MTA's subway lines may be in serious need of renovation, but at least the agency's keeping up to speed online.
The MTA today introduced a new streamlined (and more colorful) Web site that offers real-time updates and service changes.
The new site, with the same url, MTA.info, is a welcome respite from the previous muddling of maps and services schedules that littered its old home page.
For the first time, a trip planner called "Plan & Ride" appears on the site's homepage. It covers 12 New York state counties, plus New Jersey and Connecticut.
The real-time feature provides status updates for the MTA's subways, buses, commuter rail line and its seven bridges and two tunnels. Customers will now be able to check and see at a glance if their own subway line, bus route or railroad branch is operating with “Good Service” or if there are unexpected “Delays,” “Planned Work,” or “Service Changes.”
The new color-coded site is simpler and more consumer-focused, with easily navigated maps and schedules -- and you can get text alerts sent directly to your phone.
MTA Chairman Jay Walder says enhancing the way the agency communicates with its 8.5 million customers was a top objective when he took over as agency head.
"One of my first priorities when I came back to the MTA was to improve the way we communicate with our customers," said Walder, who began his tenure on Oct. 5. "We have completely overhauled the MTA’s outdated website format by putting the customer first with clear, easy-to-find information to help navigate our transit system."
The new site also has an entire section devoted to accountability and transparency, which groups budget and financial information all in one place to make it easier for industry advocates and riders to keep tabs on what's going on and provide feedback.