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Thoughts on Transit

4 Software Features That Are Transforming Agency’s Transit Operations

by Ecolane / December 21, 2016

Leveraging modern software is the first step toward creating a streamlined process for increased productivity that will lead to faster growth and overall organizational efficiency. To achieve this, it is important to ensure that you are taking full advantage of the software and its’ capabilities while also ensuring that you are not throwing money away with software features that you aren’t using and won’t be beneficial for your organization to adopt. This assurance can come from an annual technology audit with your software provider.

Ecolane’s professional services department has taken the first step for you to outline a few products and features that users are taking advantage of and can make a serious impact on day-to-day transit operations.

SMS Messaging

For those that have had the experience of waiting for a bus not knowing when it will show up or if it’s even on schedule, you know how frustrating it can be (particularly in the cold winter months). With SMS messaging, the wait gets easier with text updates on route schedules and alerts when your ride is arriving. This feature is being utilized by transit users of all ages. Even the older demographic is becoming more connected to technology and is adopting the SMS messaging app easily when riding public transit. From an organizational standpoint, this feature is beneficial because even if a rider can’t respond to the message, the fact that they are getting updates and there is communication regarding the route schedule allows for the number of no-shows to be reduced.

Self-Service Web Portal

This feature allows any user to schedule or make changes to existing reservations. This is particularly effective for paratransit organizations so caregivers can have access to the portal to make transit arrangements for their clients. Some transit users do not have access to a phone, so it is important that they are still able to schedule transportation. With the self-service web portal, it allows anyone to login to their account to view, schedule, and make changes to new and existing reservations. In a conversation with Ecolane’s Ella Carlson, she stated that; “One woman that rides with Estuary Transit uses the self-service portal and she didn’t own a phone, so she was able to book all of her rides online.” This feature alleviates a lot of stress and can help prevent dispatchers from getting overburdened by putting the scheduling process in the user's hands and creating more automation for administrative and scheduling tasks for dispatchers.

Order Import

When transit agencies are receiving trip reservations for multiple facilities on a regular basis, this tool makes it easier for the agencies and the client facilities to bulk schedule these trips. For example, if a dialysis office needs to schedule a number of riders for clients throughout the next month, they can import a large number of reservations at one time with a CSV file upload. This saves time for both the agency and the client by reducing manual entry and using the portal as a scheduling tool. Clients can also log in to make cancellations instead of having to call the agencies to cancel a trip.

Mobile Applications

With the digital age that we are currently in, comes the inherent need to have your software mobile optimized and agile. The next step in connecting with mobile technology users is to develop a mobile app that can be used for route updates and scheduling. Another added benefit to mobile applications is the ability to engage riders with company news, industry news, or other relevant content to create a more personal and engaging user experience for the riders.

Ecolane’s professional services department is one piece that separates them from competitor software providers, with a ‘we do what we say we will do’ attitude and a helpful ‘customer service first’ culture. Ecolane offers free upgrades covered in the standard maintenance fees and a staff of experts to help you troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

What truly separates Ecolane from competitors is real-time automation to ensure accuracy and efficiency. Staying one step ahead of the competition and keeping up with demand becomes a much easier task when your system is automated from start to finish. Ecolane software offers automation from scheduling reservations to post drop-off data storage.

For a better understanding of how Ecolane software can help your organization with software upgrades and add-ons, please contact us.

Estuary Transit District Transit Software Case Study

 

 

Tags: Demand Response Software Product Development

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