This website begins the next generation of 511 Transit, bringing together route, schedule and fare information for all major transit services in the San Francisco Bay Area. This new website is available in addition to the longtime pre-existing 511 Transit website, which will remain active as the “Accessible Version” alongside this new website. The 511 Transit website contains a number of new features to simplify retrieval of basic information, while adding more transit route mapping and other interactive website capabilities to enable you to explore public transportation options in more depth.
The new website is being launched with all the main 511 Transit features available, while other new features are in the works for later in 2008. Transit information still being developed for this new site includes more comprehensive Real-Time Departures pages, a transit agency lookup by city feature, a separate page to help tourists in the area get going on transit, and more.
Comprehensive Transit Information for the San Francisco Bay Area
Whether you are a newcomer to the San Francisco region or have lived here for years, this website provides information that makes it easier to get around on public transit. Look up a schedule, plan a transit trip, check where a route goes, get information about a transit provider - you can do all this in a single website. Using “Plan a Trip” you can build a transit itinerary that gets you where you want to go, when you want to go - on transit. If you are not familiar with where you want to go, the website’s interactive maps and schedules can help you find your start and end points.
511 Transit is a Part of the Bay Area 511 Traveler Information (www.511.org)
MTC's 511 Traveler Information suite of websites provides comprehensive information about how to get around in the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you need transit, traffic, rideshare or bicycling information, you can find it in a single place, at this one-stop resource. For more information, visit the 511 home page at http://www.511.org.
But there's more to 511. 511 is also a toll-free telephone information number. This easy to remember three-digit number provides up-to-the-minute information on traffic conditions and incidents, details on public transportation routes and fares, instant carpool and vanpool referrals, bicycling information and more. All available by dialing 511 from anywhere within the Bay Area.
Evolution of the Transit Website
The original transit website began in 1994, as a comprehensive Bay Area transit information resource started by two U.C. Berkeley students. In cooperation with individual transit agencies, that website provided customized methods and tools for posting and updating schedule, route, fare and map data on the internet.
In 1996, MTC worked with the original transit website developers to continue their efforts and begin expanding the information base to include all public transit services in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Since June 1998, the project has been funded by MTC.
As part of a separate project and with the cooperation of regional transit agencies, MTC implemented a transit trip planning system that, given an origin and destination, computes a transit itinerary connecting the two points. This system was originally developed primarily for the benefit of telephone information operators in the different transit agency call centers. In 2001, MTC launched its original regional transit trip planning system on a website interface for the general public.
In November 2003, MTC launched its revised Transit website as a part of the new 511 service. MTC and its contractor bd Systems (later acquired by SAIC, Inc. in 2006) were responsible for designing, developing and implementing the Regional Transit Information System (RTIS), the larger project under which the transit website is included.
From 2004 through the present, the 511 Transit project continued to incorporate transit service information from additional transit agencies into the 511 Transit website. Today, most of the major public transit agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area provide service data that MTC and its contractor make available to the public through 511.
In 2007, MTC decided to acquire a new transit trip planner to replace its current aging software. Along with the new trip planner, being launched on this website, a comprehensive update of the entire Transit website was undertaken by MTC and its contractors. While offering this all new website, MTC will continue to make the original 511 Transit website available, with features that are optimized for accessibility purposes, including screen reader capabilities and an accessible version of the new trip planner. The link titled “Accessible Version” in the upper left corner of this new 511 Transit website is a quick way to get back to the older, accessible version of the site.
Through the 511 Transit project, MTC currently oversees all aspects of these transit websites. With the invaluable cooperation of Bay Area transit agencies, MTC and its contractors manage the entry and updating of transit service information for the benefit of the Bay Area riding public. This new website is a joint effort of MTC, participating transit agencies, and SAIC, with trip planning software provided by Mentz (mdv), and website design assistance by 352 Media, Oakleaf Consulting, and Swirl, Inc.