So WMATA redesigned their web site the other day, and pretty much all the DC blogs talked about it. Most ooh'd and ahh'd and talked about how spiffy it was, and how it was great that this, that, or the other thing are on the front page.
As best I can tell, someone with a copy of Web 2.0 for Dummies threw up all over the existing WMATA web site. I mean, check out those buttons. They all are shiny, and look like glass! And everything has reflections! Can I browse through Metro stops using Cover Flow yet?
I'll admit, there are a few good changes. The ride guide is a little bit easier to use, even if it often offers you fairly bizarre directions. Also, there's an Interactive System Map, that's integrated with Google Maps. That's pretty cool. BUT, there's still no interactive map for buses. Still gotta download the big PDF map that always times out and never finishes.
Come on, Metro. You made all of your icons shiny, why can't you make a damn clickable map for buses? Like, a big online version of those huge maps at certain bus stops? Are we just assuming that no one who owns a computer rides on the bus?
I'm also glad they've got Google Ads on the site. It was pretty fun seeing links to airport shuttles and limo services.
But yes, I suppose this is a step in the right direction. And at the pace WMATA operates, I'm kind of surprised they have a web site at all, and aren't still offering outdated bus schedules via Gopher.
I'll offer WMATA a few tips. Here's a few things you can do. The bus map, that's a given. Also, how about making it so we can add money to SmarTrip via the web site? How about also making it so you can put passes on a SmarTrip card? It would be pretty cool if you could have a bus pass on your SmarTrip card. I'm sure there's some degree of bus pass fraud out there, and will probably be even more now that paper transfers are going away.
Clearly, we could dedicate an entire web site to why.i.hate.metro, but we also need Metro. Here I go with my liberal progressive non-sense about how public transportation is awesome. I'll spare you philosophical arguments about how it shouldn't matter if Metro can turn a profit or not.
So yeah, thank you Metro for your new web site with "rider friendly icons and graphics." Awesome. Can I be friends with the Red Line on Facebook?