Whither useful information for an overdesigned site?
November 4, 2003 12:12 AM   Subscribe

R.I.P. Bay Area Transit Information Page, 1994-2003. The site, started by two Berkeley students, provided quick access to transit information in the San Francisco Bay Area, who later received funding for their efforts in 1996. Instead, it gets replaced by this abomination of web design. On the other hand, it is very unusual for a web site to keep the same user interface over the span of almost a decade. Already, there have been user interface rants, complaints about not finding information, sarcastic commentary, and a brief eulogy delivered from one of the original creators, and it hasn't even been the first day. Is content over style dead or are information sites like this (flash) the wave of the future?
posted by calwatch (12 comments total)
From the last link "Improving the ride one stop at a time" ?!? So you only have one team upgrading the bus stops, right?
posted by twine42 at 12:33 AM on November 4, 2003


transitinfo.org was an amazing site - simple, text-driven, intuitive. So many memories of using that site to get me somewhere on BaRT or muni....

I had noticed earlier they had removed the simple point-and-click interface for finding timings between bart stops and replaced it with *gasp* just a bare table organized by bart-line (who cares which train gets me to 24th/mission - i just want the *next* one!)

The new site is also missing that old and handy feature. I didnt see this coming...
posted by vacapinta at 12:44 AM on November 4, 2003

Oh, cry me a river.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority in Los Angeles has done a great job combining style and usability. We just haven't had bus or rail service for a month.
posted by 4easypayments at 12:47 AM on November 4, 2003

It is always a shame when a website takes a fantastic cliff-dive belly-flop into stupidity, especially ones I use regularly *cough* Netflix *cough*

I like to think that more sites turn good than bad. That every sincere attempt to make a useful site unusable is offset by two or hopefully even three redesigns that improve usability. I like to think this, but I fear we are headed more for the grey goo.

The older I get the more I think that Maple Street Book Shop's slogan "Fight the Stupids" should become a cabinet level appointment.
posted by rudyfink at 1:30 AM on November 4, 2003

When developed it will allow users to download selected schedules and itineraries on to a PDA device. It will also provide functionality to use wireless devices to generate trip itineraries. Please stay tuned for these features.

This will be useful.
posted by eddydamascene at 2:06 AM on November 4, 2003

If you're looking for a tube and/or bus planner for your Palm or PocketPC PDA, try Metr(). It's free too.
posted by ralawrence at 4:07 AM on November 4, 2003

Sad, sad, sad...
posted by AlexSteffen at 9:08 AM on November 4, 2003

quick, someone wget the old site and mirror it somewhere.
posted by Hackworth at 11:22 AM on November 4, 2003

"quick, someone wget the old site"

I kicked off wget as soon as I found out about this... alas, without the scripts, it's somewhat less useful. The wget job is still running (it has slowed down considerably over the past hour) but even when it completes unfortunately I don't have the backchannel bandwidth to host a fully public mirror.
posted by majick at 11:53 AM on November 4, 2003

I used to hit this page almost daily when I was commuting between Oakland and Marin every day. What a p.o.s. they replaced it with -- butt slow.
posted by bicyclingfool at 1:49 PM on November 4, 2003

i too miss that point and click map that let you pick your start & end station, then showed you the schedule for that line. i use the tables now but it's not as intuitive or easy. i wonder why they nixed it?
posted by jcruelty at 3:33 PM on November 4, 2003

they probably got rid of the point and click because all they want to do anymore is hype the airport line.
posted by ropadi at 1:33 PM on November 5, 2003

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