Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
Metro Online Home

Metro Online Celebrating 10 Years
September 2002, Metro Online gets a facelift

Metro Online turns ten

The wheels on the bus keep going 'round and 'round with the new design.

Since 1998, Metro had amassed considerable usage statistics and user feedback that documented high-demand features and information types accessed by customers. Metro had also implemented new applications that it believed were not being capitalized to the extent possible due to the site's design and navigation structure.

The primary goal of this project was to optimize the online information experience for customers in a manner consistent with other well-respected public and private web sites around the nation. To that end, our specific objectives were to provide customers and prospects with an improved, intuitive interface; deep and rich content; and empowering functionality.

Our specific deliverables were to increase exposure and usage of our site's most popular information features and applications, and drive more online pass product sales.


The redesigned site features two primary navigation areas, both of which appear on every page.

The left navigation bar provides access to every major site section. At the top of every page, one-click access is provided to three important areas - timetables, trip planning, and pass sales, as well as a Search Metro Online function and the Site Map. The home page presents these areas in a prominent manner and sets up the navigation scheme that follows on every page in the site.

The focus on timetables and trip planning was based on usage statistics, since these areas have traditionally been our highest visited areas. The Online Pass sales and Ride Share links were strategic moves, since we wanted to push more people to our more robust online purchasing capability, and also wanted to increase awareness of our "total transportation solutions" leadership position in the marketplace.

An additional navigational tool developed was a "breadcrumb trail." The "breadcrumb trail," along with the expanding left navigation bar, provides customers with feedback on their location within the site. As users click through a section, the "breadcrumb trail" reveals the path to the user's current location directly above the page title.

Timeline and work flow

Work on the project began in March 2002. The design utilized a set of templates that contained the core design and navigation elements that could be easily built into each web page. Metro staff used those templates to convert all the pages within Metro Online, the Trip Planner and Pass Sales Online.

The entire site of over 1,600 pages was redesigned and converted in approximately 6 months, then extensively tested, and released to the public on September 27, 2002, concurrent with Metro's September service change.

Online Pass Sales Activity:

  • Pre-launch:
    • September 2002 sales activity: 820 orders for $62,820
  • Post- launch:
    • October 2003 sales activity: 1431 orders for $123,671
    • March 2003 sales activity: 1636 orders for $137,615
  • Result: A 98% increase in orders and a 119% increase in sales volume.

Timetable Visits:

  • Pre-launch:
    • August 2002 timetable visits: 97,902
  • Post- launch:
    • October 2002 timetable visits: 129,624
    • March 2003 timetable visits: 131,206
  • Result: A 34% increase in Timetable Visits

Trip Planner Visits:

  • Pre-launch:
    • August 2002 Trip Planner visits: 98,031
  • Post- launch:
    • October 2002 Trip Planner visits: 118,248
    • April 2003 Trip Planner visits: 125,050
  • Result: A 28% increase in Trip Planner visits

Metro Online Home Page Visits:

  • Pre-launch:
    • August 2002 Metro Online Home Page visits: 138,413
  • Post- launch:
    • October 2002 Metro Online Home Page visits: 144,200
    • March 2002 Metro Online Home Page visits: 156,231
  • Result: A 13% increase in Home Page visits

Go live dates:

  • Transit Milestones Section added November 21, 2003
  • Live Help for Lost & Found - May 29, 2003
  • Printable Timetables - June 9, 2003
  • Commuter Trip Plans - August 11, 2003
  • Point to Point schedules - December 23, 2003
  • Transportation Resources Index Section added October 20, 2004

Annual visits:

  • 2002 - 3,015,108
  • 2003 - 3,449,044
  • 2004 - 4,335,485

New Metro Online Logo

Updated: Dec. 6, 2004