Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board

Caltrain Business Plan

A new, engaging site for Caltrain’s future

©Caltrain
Client Caltrain
Year 2019
Project Type Website Development

Key services for this project

  • Strategy & consulting
  • Interaction & experience design
  • Website development
  • SEO strategy
Summary

A bold, collaborative vision

Caltrain is a commuter rail line that runs along the San Francisco Peninsula and through the Santa Clara Valley, from San Francisco to Gilroy. 2019 was a milestone year for Caltrain, as the agency developed its 2040 Service Vision and Business Plan, an impactful and exciting collaborative effort between Caltrain and its agency partners and communities along the corridor. The Plan outlines infrastructure enhancements, train scheduling improvements, and increased access for a wider range of travelers. A microsite was a perfect way to display this plan to the community and stakeholders.

Responsive website
Challenge

Not everyone speaks locomotive

The Caltrain Business Plan addresses some complicated transportation issues—but not everyone is familiar with the lingo, schedules, routes, and details. The Business Plan microsite needed to be highly interactive yet responsive. It needed to host a wide range of assets, including presentations, surveys, events, and live streaming video. Working as a subconsultant to our partner, Fehr & Peers, the goal was to create a concise site that would facilitate meaningful discussions around the new policies being considered and help people get involved and excited about the future of the corridor.

Data Visualization ©Jonathon Yu
Approach

Visualizing the future

For every website Convey develops, user empathy guides our design. With this project, we considered how historically, train stations have been considered a core pillar of a community’s identity. We dissected the Caltrain Service Vision and Business Plan, identifying points likely to elicit emotional responses and thoughtful opinions, such as adding more stops, increasing train frequency, and modernizing the train fleet. Calls to actions were then strategically placed to provide a platform on which community members could share their opinions and priorities. The website also hosted an innovative data storytelling challenge, called the Data Visualization Challenge, to solicit big, creative ideas for the dissemination and display of ridership data.

Result

A mighty deliverable on a compact platform

FasTrak toll tag

Beautiful from binary

Interactive pages such as the tooltip glossary and the community interface booklet map are an easy and visually pleasing way to understand key terminology and engage with content relevant to one’s community.

Transportation specialists

A powerful digital podium

The new microsite allows Caltrain to host information and offers simple, engaging tools that encourage community members to submit feedback. An impressive one-third of unique visitors to the site completed a survey.

526% traffic increase

When traffic is a good thing

Over a five-month period we increased organic web traffic by over 500%. Paired with unprecedented user engagement, this is the kind of traffic we love being in.

In Conclusion

A few of our favorite things

  • The user flow guides community members to engage meaningfully with surveys and challenges
  • Community Interface booklets for each jurisdiction are accessible from a beautiful map
  • The site hosts a large repository of ridership data, including growth and land use forecasts, conceptual train schedules, and corridor geography, as well as stunning visualizations that depict its effect on the future of Caltrain