Upgrading Drupal for a Major Transportation Website
About BART and BART.gov
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) is the primary rapid transit system servicing the San Francisco Bay Area. With 50 stations along six routes and 131 miles of track, BART is the seventh busiest heavy rail rapid transit system in the United States, drawing over 39 million passengers in 2022 and around 154,300 riders per day as of mid-2023. Embarcadero Station in central San Francisco has nearly 50,000 average weekday exits.
BART.gov is a large, dynamic, and critical website providing important information about trip planning, real-time departures, schedules, maps, service alerts and fare calculations.
BART needed to migrate its website out of Drupal 7 ahead of its anticipated end-of-life. The upgrade needed to be done seamlessly, with zero disruptions to the tens of thousands of Bay Area residents and visitors who use the site daily. BART also wanted to improve the editorial experience so team members could update and create website content more easily.
The Solution: Upgrading to Drupal 10 and Improving the Editorial Experience
BART turned to Chapter Three to handle this important upgrade to Drupal 9 (we'll soon update it to 10) and our expert team completed it on time and within budget. The process took six months from start to finish, and was carried out with no disruptions to the site’s operations. BART’s content editors now have an easier time managing website content, and the site has demonstrated improved performance during high-traffic periods.
We used the migration as an opportunity to take stock of the site and make welcome changes that made it faster, more efficient, and easier to use. Upgrading to the latest version of Drupal helped us improve the editorial experience by leveraging its integrated tools and features.
BART’s old Drupal 7 site used 20 custom modules, many of which were either redundant or no longer in use. Our seasoned development team worked together to reduce the total to six modules. We also added new modules to display data from BART APIs, and recreated the front-end theme using the Twig templating system.
For BART’s site managers, we enhanced the editorial experience by replacing the clunky content blocks on the component pages with Paragraphs. They can now easily edit and add content using drag and drop, and enhance that content with CKEditor 5, a powerful rich text editor built into Drupal 9 and 10.
Also built into Drupal 10 is an upgraded Media Library that allows site managers to easily upload, search, and insert documents, videos, and images, while making it much easier to find existing media items. This was an important upgrade for BART’s media-rich website.
Results: On time and on budget
Even with our additional work to customize the editorial experience and other improvements, Chapter Three completed this large migration on time and within budget, thanks to our team’s experience, skill and focus on collaboration with the BART team. BART’s site is now faster, easier to manage, and ready for the future.
“This complex migration included numerous external integrations and custom modules. Chapter Three brought significant skill, expertise, and experience to every stage. Overall, project management and stakeholder communication was excellent. Build quality was outstanding. Chapter Three introduced a number of innovative ideas to improve taxonomy, leverage content types, and streamline content management tasks for editorial staff, who were well-prepared with the appropriate level of training and documentation. Chapter Three delivered all scope on time and budget. The engagement was a success by every measure. I recommend Chapter Three without reservation.”