Case Study: Closing the CX Gap - Building a Customer Centric Transportation Site

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options that are innovative, environmentally responsible, and promote the vitality of the region. It provides bus, light rail, and paratransit services as well as participates as a funding partner in regional rail service.

As the county’s congestion management agency, the organization is also responsible for countywide transportation planning, including congestion management, design, and construction of specific highways, pedestrian and bicycle improvement projects, as well as the promotion of transit-oriented development. 

To deliver the experience its customers want and to keep them coming back, VTA needed to deliver a state of the art, reliable, open-source, mobile-first web experience, while still endorsing Transit for things an app does best.

It would need to break down silos within its own organization to ensure that stakeholders understood the new website would be based on input and feedback gained from its primary customers - transit riders, people affected by or interested in transportation projects, and other engaged community members. 

To accomplish its business goals, VTA hired Drupal development firm Digital Echidna and engaged Acquia Cloud service, investing in a year-long site redevelopment that would cross all VTA departments, and include input from the public. 

This process included the build of a minimum viable product (MVP) for beta testing, solicitation, and collection of customer feedback, and several product iterations, before the launch of a customer-focused solution in 2019. 


The Case Study will be collaboratively presented by VTA and Digital Echidna and will cover topics such as:


Business Goals and how these goals have been met/will be met. 

  • Increase user satisfaction, improve interaction

  • Deliver a mobile-first, responsive, user-centric experience

  • Deliver on an open-source technology platform 

  • Leverage transit industry standards

  • Conduct an iterative development approach with continuous improvements 

Challenges with the current website and throughout the project (if any).

1. VTA’s legacy website better served its internal audiences than it did primary customers of VTA and failed to support its largest segment of online traffic - mobile users. 

  •  Overview of statistics and research to support decisions for change

  •  Understanding where the Customer Experience gaps were and formulating a plan

2. Producing a great web experience in a government and Transportation context (limited resources, many stakeholders, not always the most technologically advanced stakeholders)? 

  • Building on Open Data standards (GTFS and GTFS-realtime) 

  • Reimagining what "content" is, and how to handle it

  • How we worked in collaboration with Digital Echidna and our stakeholders to create such a great digital experience  


Approach taken to overcome the challenges and deliver a great digital experience for our customers

  • Strategy and Implementation Plan  

  • Training

  • Processes - UX approach 

  • Technology - Drupal/open source 


  • User/Customer feedback

  • Adjustments based on feedback

  • Successful launch 

  • Where are we now 

  • What's next on our Digital Roadmap 

Presentation Video