Pace's family of public transportation services offers affordable, innovative and environmentally responsible transit options for the residents of 284 municipalities in Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties in Illinois. The backbone of Chicago's suburbs, Pace serves approximately 127,000 daily riders. One of the largest bus services in North America, Pace covers 3,677 square miles, an area nearly the size of the state of Connecticut, and about 15 times the size of the City of Chicago.
Pace’s team wanted to refresh its website for a number of reasons. First, it wanted to improve efficiency for the end user by making the site more accessible. It also wanted to provide a refreshed and sustainable look and feel, and to give an overhaul to the internal workflow processes related to site updates. Additionally, the Pace team wanted the new website to include interactive route maps and wanted to standardize the process for archiving information.
Pace’s original website lacked accessibility and prevented easy access to information, preventing it from serving as the front-line resource for users and leading to increased customer service call volumes. Additionally, the site’s previous design was close to a decade old and didn’t reflect the company’s written or visual brand. Finally, to publish updates to the previous website, internal content editors had to work in HTML, requiring 24-hour lead times that were much too long for the real-time site updates needed to accommodate unpredictable circumstances.
Tapping Clarity Partners, LLC to help guide their transformation, the teams’ overall approach was to better position Pace to achieve all of its goals. The Acquia Cloud Platform provides a modern, efficient and secure site that is better positioned to expand and implement additional updates independently. Specifically, to improve access to information, Pace conducted user testing for all of its primary audiences, including end users with special needs. Test participants were asked to complete tasks related to their use case scenarios. The results of the testing ultimately led to changes in design and development and a better end product.
The move from a proprietary content management system to the Acquia Cloud Platform has solved a lot of issues for the Pace team, including improved content organization and control, as well as the ability to assign roles and permissions to users. Improved functionality has made the site more user-friendly and access to information is vastly improved, reducing the need for additional customer service. The website meets accessibility compliance standards. Site updates are linked to email/SMS notifications, eliminating the need for duplicate updates of the same type. Using Drupal means Pace can utilize additional vendors through pre-built, ready-to-use APIs. And finally, route maps are now dynamic, displaying on each page with the added feature of advertising opportunities. As it becomes increasingly important for users to have transportation information before walking out the door, Pace is repositioned to service their customers in a new and improved way with the ability to provide real-time updates