Metra, one of Chicagoland’s most utilized forms of transportation, launched a new and improved public website that was designed and built by Clarity Partners. The new website features a comprehensive schedule display, a new real-time train tracking map, online ticket sales, and responsive design that focuses on user friendliness.
Clarity chose Drupal, an open source content management system, as the platform for constructing Metra’s new website. This allows web administrators to have access to a range of tools to directly manage website content. The new responsive design scales screen size according to the device a visitor is using to access the website—thus, whether the visitor utilizes a smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer, he or she will be able to functionally interact with Metra’s new site. Amazon Web Services, a cloud-based hosting service, houses the new website and aids in fast performance for information feeds for schedules and service alerts.
Clarity furthermore developed a .NET application for the eCommerce aspect of the website for purchasing tickets online. Clarity’s focus was to reduce risk, increase performance, encourage long-term scalability, and improve the user experience.
Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in northeastern Illinois. The agency provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 241 stations over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles and approximately 1,200 miles of track. Metra operates more than 700 weekday trains, providing about 300,000 passenger trips each weekday. As the fourth busiest commuter rail system in the United States, Metra’s website receives over 36,000 visitors daily.