Dept. of Transportation
Metro Transit Division

King Street Center
201 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA 98104
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Metro Online honored as one of top four transit web sites in nation

Metro Online wins Federal award

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has recognized the King County Department of Transportations Metro Online web site as one of the ">Top Transit Traveler Information Web sites" in the nation. Only four winners were chosen for this prestigious award in 2004.

The winners were selected after a national review and ranking of more than 1,400 web sites. The sites were evaluated for their content and usability. The FTA will be presenting the award to King County officials on Monday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Metropolitan King County Council meeting

The national award validates King County Executive Ron Sims goal to have county services available 24-7 via the Internet

"King County residents are among the most wired on the planet," said Sims. "They expect and deserve services and information at their fingertips. King County recognized this need several years ago, and has worked hard to create a seamless web of online information.

"Metro Online has always been out in front of this countywide effort," said Sims, "and I am extremely proud of the creative and innovative employees who have developed this web site over the past 10 years. This award from the FTA is for them."

Metro Online turn ten

Metro Online is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2004. It was initially known as "Riderlink," and developed to help employers provide transit information to their employees looking for commute options. But the popularity of the online bus schedules inspired Metro staff to expand the web site well beyond its original parameters.

Since 1994, the online tools for bus passengers have been expanded many times:

  • Pass Sales online debuted October 30, 2000
  • Online Trip Planner - December 4, 2001
  • 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

Customer usage of Metro Online has skyrocketed over the past decade. Today, the average usage is more than 12,000 visits each day or approximately 4.3 million visits annually by the end of 2004. The online Trip Planner has more than 7,000 daily visitors - who generate more than 16,000 personalized itineraries each day.

The popularity of Metro Online has spurred other online transit services such as the Pass Sales store and Lost and Founds live chat. Ten years ago, none of Metro's customer services were provided online. Today, more than 75 percent of King County Metro's customer information contacts are via Metro Online.

"I think Metro Online is successful, because it is so customer friendly especially for people who don't want to spend a lot of time wading through web pages," said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Dwight Pelz, chair of the Councils Transportation Committee. "The site is simple, clean, easy to navigate, and provides valuable information at a glance."

Besides Metro Online, other winners include the Tri-County Metropolitan District (TriMet) of Portland, Oregon; the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority of Livermore/Pleasanton, California; and Omnitrans of San Bernardino, California.

Updated: Dec. 2, 2004