511 Transit Called “Heroic Act of Interagency Cooperation”

511_AC_Transit.jpgImage: transit.511.org

The Government Computer News magazine, part of the U.S. General Services Administration, called the 511 Transit website maintained by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) "a heroic act of interagency coordination" when naming it to it’s list of the "10 great government websites nationwide for 2009."

I’m not trying to downplay the utility and convenience of 511 Transit, but I think that’s the first time I’ve heard "interagency cooperation" and "heroic" in the same sentence, at least for transit. Of course, it’s also the first time I’ve heard of Government Computer News magazine.

But the site is a great utility for those of us who have regular commutes and you can find a whole lot of information for transit operators you might not be familiar with when making those non-routine trips around the Bay Area.

Tom Spiekerman, 511 Transit project manager for the MTC, said the site’s recent redesign makes it “faster, smarter… and easier to use. Even the quality of the information is improved, thanks to new data collection and aggregation processes — and a lot of valuable customer feedback from website visitors. As a result the online trip planner is now among the best of its kind anywhere.”

According to the MTC, the 511 Transit page registered nearly 1.7 million individual user sessions in July 2009, a 47 percent increase over the monthly average in 2008. And the online trip planner at the 511 Transit page generated more than 1.5 million itineraries last month, compared to a monthly average of about 1.1 million in 2008.

What do you think, dear readers? How useful is 511 Transit for you and do you use the site often or prefer other outlets?

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