Ottawa public transit on the information superhighway

By Paul Moore

Ottawa commuters can now use the updated OC Transpo website to figure out how to get around town. Photo: Paul Moore

OC Transpo has launched a new version of its website to help public transit users get around Ottawa. The old site was criticized for being difficult to use and inefficient. John Donaldson, program manager for OC Transpo, said the new site features transit information that is updated more frequently and a new layout that will make it easier for people to find the two most popular applications on the site: the travel planner and the schedule lookup function.

“On the old site, those were located at a particular place, you sort of had to navigate to those sections to find those applications,” he said. “But on the new site those are accessible anywhere. So two of our most used features are now located in more accessible locations.”

Donaldson said the website usually gets about 17,000 hits per day. About 85 per cent of those visitors use the site at least once a week.

Liza Rozina regularly logs on to the OC Transpo site. The second-year engineering student at Carleton University lives in Orleans and doesn’t drive.

“OC Transpo is my only source of transportation. I use the buses to get everywhere,” she said.

But Rozina isn’t convinced that the new interface is any easier to use.

“It’s very hard to get used to the new website … it’s more complicated, I find. It’s too busy and there’s more info thrown at you.  But the design is nicer to look at,” she said.

Michelle Redford also uses public transportation to get around. But, as she waited for a bus to take her from the Glebe to the Rideau Centre, she said the only problem with the new website is that more people don’t use it.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “Think of the cars we could keep off the road if more people took the bus. And we have this [website] service here. I just think people don’t know about it.”

Click here to visit OCTranspo’s new website.

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