Fauquier County road warriors have a new tool to do battle in their daily commute – a mobile phone app for the Washington Metro system.
Metro Thursday launched a new mobile website that gives riders fast access to the most popular features of the transit system's website, wmata.com
Metro for years has had a version of its website that worked for Blackberries. The redesigned site can now be accessed with smartphones, and replaces the older version that was designed before the advent of touch-screen navigation.
"Our new mobile site is a significant step forward toward giving customers access to the information they want and expect while on the go," said General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles.
"Today's launch is another 'progress point' in our Customer Service Action Plan that has delivered dozens of improvements over the last year," he said.
Among the new site's features:
Trip Planner gives mobile users access to Metro's website trip planner, including ability to plan a trip by bus, rail or both. Customers can select their preferred departure or arrival time based on their needs.
Next Train shows real-time train arrival times, number of cars and destination for any of Metro's 86 rail stations.
Next Bus uses a customer's GPS location to display bus arrival predictions for all nearby bus stops. For additional detail, riders can tap a route to see bus locations on a moving Google map.
Service Nearby allows commuters to see all bus and rail transit service near their current location.
News gives riders mobile access to all recent Metro news releases.
Elevator Status shows out-of-service elevators and alternate shuttle bus options.
Alerts & Advisories provides continually updated service information from Metro's control centers via the MetroAlerts system. Customers can stay up to date on planned detours, service changes, track work, elevator outages and more. Urgent service messages are displayed in red on the home screen.
Call Transit Police allows patrons to quickly initiate a phone call to Metro Transit Police should the need arise.
The new mobile site is the latest project to be delivered as part of the General Manager’s Customer Service Action Plan, and follows the launch in November of new flat-screen displays at every Metrorail station entrance. The kiosk displays, which are also linked to the MetroAlerts network, turn red when there is an alert that could affect a customer's trip.
Customers can access the new mobile site by navigating to wmata.com
from their smartphone's browser. Metro suggests that customers add the site to their home screen for quick and easy access.
On Wednesday, Google launched the integration of rail MetroAlerts into the company's trip planning tools, Google Maps and Google Transit. Now Metro riders who use Google to plan their Metro trips will see rail service alerts alongside their itinerary.