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Metro website delivering 2.5 million pages of travel information per month

19 April 2018

Each month this website delivers 2½ million pages of travel information to people from across the Leeds City Region and beyond.

People also use this site to download over 600,000 bus timetables each month, as well as for journey planning, updates on popular park and ride services, information about roadworks and disruptions and the latest on rail stations and services.

In January, the Combined Authority moved the Metro site to the open-source Umbraco content-management system and the Microsoft Azure cloud hosting environment.

Stability and resilience

Although this has not made much noticeable difference to users, it has improved the site’s stability and resilience, especially at times of heavy use such as periods of extreme weather. At these times, people turn to the site for the information we post bringing together the latest information provided by us and train operators.

During previous prolonged periods of snow, the site has seen a month’s traffic in just one or two days and at 7am on one snowy day at the start of March, our analytics service show us that were over 13,000 user sessions on the site, six times the usual number.

Responsive

The Combined Authority website was also upgraded in January, the main change being it is now responsive meaning the pages will re-size to look good on any screen, whether it’s a desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Two thirds of people visiting this site are now doing so using a smartphone, the number of people using one to visit the Combined Authority website, where we showcase the organisation’s work and investment in schemes to grow the local economy, create jobs and improve transport, is just one in five. This is already a slight growth since January’s upgrade and we expect to see the number increase.

Functionality

Thanks to increased site functionality it is now much easier for people to apply for a Senior Travel Pass online, from the comfort of their own home, which is much quicker and easier than travelling to a busy bus station travel centre and queuing to apply or renew. Over 300,000 Senior passes are currently in use in West Yorkshire and over 200,000 are due for renewal over the next six months.

People renewing a Senior Pass just need the current pass number and a digital passport quality or camera phone photo to upload and those applying for a new Pass, need a valid UK passport or driving licence and a digital passport quality or camera phone photo to upload.

You can even apply on a friend’s or a relative’s behalf by creating an account in their name and then adding them as a dependent. It takes just a few minutes.

Find out how you can apply for a Senior Pass online.

Twitter

The fact that over 22,000 people are now following @MetroTravelNews on Twitter and there are approaching 15,000 likes for the West Yorkshire Metro Facebook page shows increasing numbers of people are relying on social media for updates. This means that the work of the Combined Authority’s MetroLine team has changed from dealing mainly with quick travel enquiries to answering longer, more involved questions from the public.

Recognising this, webchat, which enables people to connect directly with a MetroLine operative and have an online dialogue, is another relatively recent and popular enhancement to the Metro website. Through webchat, the MetroLine team can help site-users plan a more complex journey, guide them through a pass application or establish which ticket might best meet their requirements and budget.

With upgrades to its websites just complete, the Combined Authority is now embarking on a further project to unite its existing websites, including the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and Invest in Leeds City Region sites into one online platform.

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