A site you depend on, made new again.
We've just made a major upgrade to our website—the first complete refresh since 2008—one that gives us a fresher, modern, mobile-friendly design while maintaining the content and features you rely on.
Designed in-house by people at CTA who love transit and know our system and our riders, we hope this updated version makes it easier than ever to get the info you need and get on your way.
On this page...
- A responsive design is a modern way of making web pages that are inherently more accessible and adapt naturally to all screen sizes gracefully so there's one site for everyone.
- A brighter, more open layout that allows content to breathe on modern displays, making it more enjoyable to browse.
- An improved start page and navigation structure make it easier to get to common things and brings travel information more up-front than ever.
- A new "Plan a trip" widget that's clearer, easier to use and lets you choose if you'd like an accessible or step-free trip (handy for people with strollers or carts) for quicker access to the directions you need, now.
- Better search features make it easier to find info you're looking for quickly and easily (something we'll be fine tuning more as we learn how people use the new design).
- Improved elevator status visibility so if you need or prefer to use stations with elevators, you can find out if anything will affect your trip in a jiffy.
- New accessibility features are built into our design that go above and beyond the basics, to help people with visual impairments or who use assistive software to use our website with greater ease.
We've kept some familiar elements and ideas so frequent visitors can get to key information in a way that's intuitive and as easy as before. For example:
- Quick links to the most visited things (maps, schedules, fare info, etc.) is just one click away from just about anywhere you are.
- System status continues to live on most pages with service information so if there's anything affecting your trip it's easy to spot before you head to your stop, along with robust details about events affecting service.
- Easy-to-find, easy-to-read service information about our routes and train stations that you can get to with just a couple of clicks—just like before and in a similar arrangement.
- Accessible transit info, contact info and site search have all remained right at the very top of every page so it's always right there when you need it!
This upgrade brings us to a new platform where we'll be able to build more engaging, compelling content and features to serve you better in the coming weeks, months and years.
Here are a few things we're already planning or working on:
- Updating and reworking more content and building new layouts and templates to take advantage of our new capabilities to present information and tell stories in even more compelling and engaging ways.
- Improved service information that'll make it easier to find what you need and get on your way to where you're going.
- Improved tools to provide us with feedback and help us serve you better.
- A continued focus on better, more timely, more reliable information, to empower you to make informed travel choices and get the most out of transit.
And—of course—we're listening! Have ideas on how to make the site better? Had trouble finding something? Found a bug or a broken link somewhere? We want to hear from you! Tell us what you think, here.
Whenever a website that people use frequently gets remade, especially when some things end up in a different place, it can take a little re-learning. So here are some notes to help you find your way in our new, simplified navigation:
- For trip planning, we've moved it right up front and center(ish) on the home page (a trend we've seen with lots of other transit agencies). In desktop views, you'll see a big trip planner at the top; in mobile views, you'll see a green "Quick trip planner" box you can expand. We've also made "Plan a trip" a top-level nav link so you can jump to the widget from any page.
- Info about our services has been combined into a singular Travel info section where you'll find everything you need—maps, schedules, service alerts, lost & found and more!—all in one place.
- Fare info still has its own nav section, with quick links from the menu to CTA fare information, as well as to important parts of the Ventra website so you can mange your fare with CTA and Pace, as well as mobile app tickets you buy for Metra (via app).
- We've put business (including procurement info) and info about CTA together in a new "more" section, as these items are often related and because most visitors come to us for info about transit service.
- Check our expanded footer for common tasks, too--as well as quick links to our social media pages and sister agencies.
Not sure where to click? Try a search!
The new search function on our site is much better than the old one, and we've worked to fine-tune results before launching the new site to make sure common content rises to the top.
Think something could be in a better place or have a search boost suggestion? Let us know by sending us feedback.
A little fun
Some pages we think you should check out
We've made lots of updates to content while building our new site—both to existing pages and some new ones. To help you get started on seeing some of the things we've done, added or improved, here are some suggestions:
- Our System Improvement Projects page is an example of one where we've taken advantage of bolder, adaptable layouts to tell our story in a visually compelling way. (Also, of course, check out all the great stuff we're doing to make your ride better!)
- Information for visitors to Chicago we felt was important to boost, and so you'll find helpful information like that on an expanded Airport Transit page.
- The new search feature lets us highlight content that we know lots of people are looking for. For example, if you search for "Blue Line" and you'll see a big button to help get you straight to info about the route.
- Did you know you can see trains across the city plotted on a map? The Train Tracker Map is a little-known feature that we think is pretty cool, to be honest.
- Lots of bus route pages now include rich header images that highlight areas in neighborhoods our routes serve: Check out the #4 Cottage Grove, #22 Clark, #29 State, #65 Grand, #126 Jackson and #151 Sheridan for examples—and of course, whichever one gets you home! (We'll be working to fill in more this summer, so if you've got any suggestions on where's a great place to get a photo of your favorite route? Tell us!)
- We've done a lot to improve 'L' route and train station information, too! Just go to Routes/Schedules and click on your line.
- 'L' route pages have a cleaner diagram showing the sequence of stops on your route (from its north or west terminal toward south and east) that's mobile friendly and includes transfer information--just like the line maps you'll see above doors in the train. Check out the Green Line, for example.
- Find detailed station information about all 'L' stations by clicking a stop in a route diagram—you'll find photos of almost every station, as well as schedules, an embedded map and new guides that describe the layout of a station to help familiarize people with visual impairments. Here are a few to get you started: Grand (Blue), Washington/Wabash (Loop), Wilson (Red/Purple), Cermak-McCormick Place (Green)
By the numbers
To celebrate our refreshed design, we'd thought we'd share some fun facts:
- We get a lot of web traffic: Monthly volumes over the year vary due to weather patterns and times when the city has more visitors looking up unfamiliar trips, peaking in summer months. For example, in July 2017, we had about 750,000 unique users visit our site, loading over 4,000,000 pages in just one month.
- Aside from Train Tracker pages, the most popular pages on our site include Blue Line, Maps, Fares, Careers and the Plan a Trip page.
- Our website has over 600 distinct pages of content, including a page dedicated to every station and route we have. (That count doesn't include Train Tracker results pages, Customer Alert detail views, or press releases—all those together add up to thousands!)
- Our news/press release database has more than 3,600 articles dating back as far as 1998 (thanks to maintaining content from our old site).
- Our first website was launched in 1996—back before Google, Facebook, Twitter or Wikipedia existed though even our first site had innovative features like a bulletin board so people could leave comments and ask questions! (And on that note, check this out...)
A history of transitchicago.com