Boost in users calls for better mobile website for T

With the MBTA’s new mobile site, riders will hopefully be able to use their smartphones to time their commute better, spending less waiting time on an empty platforms like this one at South Station.

The T’s revamped mobile website that launches today will turn travelers’ smartphone experience from “fairly vanilla” to “a sundae” according to MassDOT Secretary Rich Davey.

The $25,000 redesign and upgrade optimizes MBTA.com’s features to match the influx of Android and iPhone users riding Hub transit.

“We have had a significant increase with people using the mobile site,” said Davey. “It will put us in line with other websites and providers of customer service.”

With new features like a mobile customer comments form at riders’ fingertips, reporting T troubles will take just a few seconds, sending reports to directly to T reps.

“It’ll be an avenue for customers to give us specific information on vehicles or employees and if we get that detail we can take action,” said Davey.

T rider and blogger Dan Lampariello is optimistic about the upgrades.

“I try and check alerts and trying to use [the old site] is a pain,” said Lampariello. “Revamping a mobile site is a great idea — just being able to have that access quickly and easily.”

The original mobile site launched in 2006, but was formatted for the early versions of smartphones before touch-screen devices dominated the scene.

The upgrade comes just months before InSite Wireless is slated to complete underground cell tower installations for Blue and Green line trains making it easier to surf the Web while riding the T.

Beyond the never-before-seen upgrades, the T also put some pep into the site’s options.

The alerts page was completely redesigned and schedule pages have been refreshed,  giving riders info on service frequency.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


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