THE MTA

An exploration into designing a better public transit application. 

Thesis

By focusing on multiple user types and answering the key questions they have when traveling, we’re able to greatly improve upon the user experience of mass transit apps and sites.

Problem

Mass transit apps and sites behave more like a central repository for already published transit materials than information necessary for getting someone to their destination. Often these sites publish things like pricing tables separately from maps, commuter lines separated by line rather than ordered by destination and in most cases material unaware of both location of user and timing of inquiry in a system that is very much dependent on location and time. 

User Type: Looking for Directions

A user looking for new directions most commonly has an end location they want to get to. The directions are relative to their location, and they simply want the fastest route possible.

Primary Questions

  • What’s the fastest route to my destination?

  • How much time will it take me to get there?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What are the stops along the way so I don’t miss my stop?

User Type: Daily Commuter

A daily commuter's train origin and destination are typically static. They don’t use the schedule for discovery but for updates and notifications concerning their daily commute.

Primary Questions

  • How much time do I have before my train leaves?

  • If I miss this one, when’s the next train?
  • When will I be getting home?
  • Are there any delays?