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Thoughts on Transit

The Perfect Storm: Financial Challenges

by Ecolane / November 21, 2016

As part of a three-part blog series, Ecolane is going to take a deep dive into the financial, demographic, and technological challenges faced by today’s transit providers, and discuss how the Legacy Replacement Program can help agencies to overcome these hurdles. This first article will address the increasing financial pressures placed on modern transit providers and the impact it has on the future of transit operations.

Transportation and healthcare providers are now facing a confluence of three major challenges, creating a "perfect storm". Though demographic shifts and disruptive technology in the marketplace have undoubtedly played a role in its evolution, perhaps the most significant contributor is related to the high financial strains that have been placed on today’s tra
nsit agencies. With the demand for paratransit and demand response services continuing to rise, transit providers are now being challenged to do more with less; forcing agencies to identify greater operational, organizational, and financial efficiencies within their existing resources.

Though funding obstacles differ from state to state, all transit agencies are currently faced with the challenge of maintaining high productivity and service-levels while simultaneously investing in the resources, technology, and overhead that will allow them to scale relative to demand. So, while a surge in demand may seem like music to every transit agency’s ears, the reality is that most don’t have access to the funding sources and resources needed to effectively serve a greater number of riders.

For many, this financial catch 22 has meant tapping into numerous funding channels, employee downsizing, or worse, shutting down entire department functions in an effort to stay afloat. Meaning, agencies are being forced to make an impossible decision; maintain existing service-levels and profit margins while inhibiting growth opportunities, or ‘cut back’ on operational resources in order to allocate more budget towards investing in the next-generation technology that will facilitate greater efficiencies.

However, in an effort to help agencies overcome today’s unique financial challenges and find the proper balance between operation and growth, Ecolane and National Express have joined forces to develop the Legacy Replacement Program.

The Legacy Replacement Program

Designed to help agencies provide safe, reliable and on-demand transportation services in the face of these headwinds, the Legacy Replacement Program enables providers to replace their legacy systems with next-generation technology at a price point that is equivalent to existing maintenance fees. Additionally, with the ability to provide today’s agencies with a multi-national team of technologists, project managers, support personnel, over 25,000 real-world transportation workers, as well as a leadership team with a deep understanding of transit operations, transit agencies are able to proactively address the financial challenges faced by the transportation industry. Through this, transit agencies are able to leverage modern transportation dispatch software for minimal cost, achieve greater economies of scale, create a more intuitive and rider-centric experience, and do so without having to downsize or eliminate key operational resources.

Ecolane's eBook, "Surviving the Storm: Why Transitioning Away from Legacy Systems is Critical in Today's Transit Industry", provides further detail about the high financial strains that have been placed on today’s transit providers, and explains how agencies can leverage the Legacy Replacement Program to create a more efficient and productive operation in light of these challenges.

For more insight into how Ecolane, National Express and the Legacy Replacement Program can help your agency combat rising financial challenges, download the eBook.

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Tags: Transit Trends Transit Operations

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