I am emailing on behalf of "Transportation for Liveable Communities" (TLC), a working group of McMaster's chapter of OPIRG (Ontario Public Research Interest Group) to address some issues with the HSR website.
It is obvious that any barriers to utilizing public transit should be removed, and one current barrier is the functionality of the HSR web site. For people unfamiliar the Hamilton's transit system, the HSR web site is consistently not a dependable, user-friendly website.
Multiple times, the "schedule lookup" function is under maintenance. We've also concluded that the application itself is poorly constructed: for one thing, clearer prompts for direction and time range should be in place to ensure that the results generated are, in fact, reflective of the information sought.
The second and more frequent complaint by HSR users concerns the "trip planning" application. It almost seems like a guessing game trying to input the data necessary to generate results. Time is wasted and frustrations cultivated in determining which words to omit, selecting from outdated results (eg. Bates Residence as a destination), and deciphering the map generated at the end.
Furthermore, some of the trip plans suggested by the "trip planner" are not in any way feasible. In particular, the transfer suggestions are often unnecessarily numerous, out of the way, and time-consuming. To someone dependent on the "trip planning" application, our transit system appears ineffective and in turn discourages public transportation.
After previewing the Mississauga Transit website, we feel that there are many aspects of its "user-friendliness" that the HSR should adopt, specifically the "trip planner" application. We hope that you will peruse this website and see what a dramatic difference there is in terms of efficiency. Provided is the link: http://www.mississauga.ca/
We feel that these simple and practical modifications would decrease the hesitance of potential transit users, as well as the frustrations with waiting, transferring, and other inconveniences faced by current users. We hope you will consider this feedback and, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email back at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Kamfor TLC