Transport for Wales: a new digital destination website

UK Digital Experience Awards Winner & Finalist!

We're proud that Transport for Wales won silver for 'Best Website' and was a finalist in the 'Transport, Leisure & Tourism' category at the UK Digital Experience Awards 2019.

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Following the award of the Wales and Borders rail franchise to Transport for Wales in 2018, the train operating company partnered with ORM to design and build a new marketing website.  With a hard deadline agreed for the franchise handover, a new platform was delivered in under 10 weeks.

The Challenge

The new franchise, which is delivered by KeolisAmey, set out to meet ambitious objectives and create new standards within the rail industry: providing quality services across the entire customer experience, from journey planning to station access.

As with all new franchise mobilisations, there were multiple challenges to overcome, most notably the hard deadline for the handover to Transport for Wales, as well as delivering the website in multiple languages (Welsh and English).  The train operating company needed a solution that would give them digital freedom, whereby they can control the platform, and that creates savings through operational efficiencies.

Being the main customer-facing online presence, Transport for Wales’ marketing website promotes the service and enables the retail of tickets to customers online.  It provides real-time information on departures and arrivals, as well as any disruption to services through multiple feeds, which are integrated into the site. It also allows customers to book tickets and manage their purchase journeys online, through the integration with a third party booking engine.

Transport for Wales needed to quickly assemble a plan of getting the new website ready in time for an October 2018 launch.  For this, they required a digital partner who is agile and could deliver to the deadline.  

The Solution

After initial scoping meetings, ORM pulled together a roadmap of activity.  Our knowledge and expertise of the transport sector meant we were able to run a condensed, hybrid version of our usual discovery and definition phases, before moving to design, development and deployment.

Drupal, the digital experience platform hosted by Acquia, was chosen as the CMS for the project.  The open source CMS gave the Transport for Wales team the freedom and flexibility to customise elements and rapidly deploy updates, making them self-sufficient in managing their website beyond the initial scope of work.  Alongside Drupal, AWS Cloud infrastructure was implemented, providing limitless flexibility around development and at the same time high platform availability.

The project was delivered out of ORM’s Acquia practice, supported by a full-service team of strategists, UX, designers, developers and QA.  Once the condensed initial phases of the project were completed, a sprint based delivery approach across design, development and deployment was adopted.  

The Impact

Since launch in October 2018, the website has seen positive results:

 

+ 1m

unique users

3m +

page views

65%

mobile users

 

As this is a brand new franchise, it’s difficult to compare results with the previous company who managed the Wales & Border route. Yet, when benchmarked against other train operating companies in the UK, Transport for Wales is in a really strong position with its new digital destination website.

Now, the focus is on providing a fully managed service to support and continually optimise the platform, by using data and analytics to drive insight.

 

About Transport for Wales

Transport for Wales Rail Services is a brand within the KeolisAmey group. The French-Spanish owned group will be running the Wales and Borders franchise over a 15 year contract, with the aim of being the digital destination platform for the whole of Wales.

“Digital channels are an important element of the customer experience. We are on a journey to transform travel across Wales and its borders, and digital is an area where we can make fast progress. This is why we are pleased to be working with ORM, who share our vision of an intuitive and connected customer experience.”

Colin Lea, Commercial and Customer Experience Director for Transport for Wales Rail Services

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