Home New Jersey Transit NJ Transit, PANYNJ unveil new websites

NJ Transit, PANYNJ unveil new websites

by Benjamin Kabak


A screenshot from New Jersey Transit’s new website. Click to enlarge.

With the MTA’s website stuck in neutral, looking as though it belongs in the 1990s and featuring a lot of information and no easy way to find any of it, two of its regional competitors have unveiled redesigned sites over the last two weeks. New Jersey Transit has streamlined its site and now presents up-to-the-minute line status, and the Port Authority unveiled its first site overhaul in 13 years last week.

We start with the new New Jersey Transit site. Shown above in the screenshot, this new site is a pared-down and streamlined version of their old one. The home page is modular with easiy-to-find information. It features the at-a-glance service updates and urges customers to sign up for e-mail and text message transit alerts. While New York City Transit’s TripPlanner is nowhere to be found on the MTA’s homepage, NJ Transit’s is front and center on the redesigned site.

In terms of information integration, NJ Transit’s new site represents a real step forward for the commuter rail. One of its main new feature is a system-wide rollout of DepartureVision. This monitoring system “displays train departure boards on your computer or mobile device” and is now available online by navigating to most of the stations on the new website. Imagine a similar feature for our subways.

On the page discussing the redesign, NJ Transit explores the theory behind their new website. It is all about reducing the number of clicks a user must make to find anything.

Throughout the site, information is better organized to give you what you need with as few clicks as possible. Need to find parking? Traveling to Newark Airport? Planning a trip to Prudential Center? You can access all of this information and more right from the homepage. We’ve also improved our presentation of service advisory information, by conveniently organizing it by rail line or bus route.

That is, in a nutshell, one of the MTA’s biggest problems. The information is there, but it is not presented in any logical way. Navigating through the various sub-agencies’ pages takes far more time than it should, and the home page has no structure to it. As more and more transit agencies overhaul their websites, the MTA just gets left further behind in the technological dust.

New Jersey Transit isn’t the only local agency unveiling a new site. Late last week, Port Authority did just that. Take a look and click to enlarge:


“In recent years we’ve worked on multiple fronts to make the Port Authority more accessible and transparent to the public we serve. Our new web site is a major advance on these efforts, by providing more information about our various businesses and making that information available in a user-friendly way,” Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said.

This new site features a minimalistic home page with numerous features behind it. Customers can access real-time alerts, an improved trip finder and more thorough explanations of ongoing PA initiatives and projects. Good luck getting real status updates on the MTA’s capital programs.

In the end, New Yorkers benefit from these redesigned websites. It’s easier to find information that helps us commute around our area. But at the same time, the MTA’s old site just looks worse and worse. I don’t know of any agency plans to overhaul the site, but for the MTA to improve its customer relations and its transparency, a new website is a necessity.

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SEAN October 14, 2009 - 12:24 pm

Trimet just redesigned it’s homepage as well yesterday, & the MTA? *SILENCE*

Scott E October 14, 2009 - 1:54 pm

In all honesty, you don’t need that many “clicks” to get where you want on the MTA site either, you just have to hover the mouse over the proper menu item with excruciating precision – so the next menu opens up. Not that that’s a good thing.

Yet, the MTA Railroad ticket vending machines are dramatically easier to use and more intuitive than the NJT machines. Go figure…

Paul October 14, 2009 - 7:12 pm

I’m not very impressed with the NJ Transit redesign. The site is so overwhelmed I can’t even get the page to load.

rhywun October 14, 2009 - 7:25 pm

Feh, the NJT site is super slow and STILL no bus map they’ve been promising for years.

herenthere October 14, 2009 - 8:00 pm

The TripPlanner is on the homepage…just hard to find with all that old HTML…and your screenshot of PATH is different from the current one…

Benjamin Kabak October 14, 2009 - 8:02 pm

It’s not PATH. It’s the Port Authority homepage.

herenthere October 14, 2009 - 8:52 pm

Touche. My mistake.

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Gregory Saulnier June 22, 2012 - 11:02 pm

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