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Transit Software Implementation Plan

    In the past decade, the face of mobility has seen significant change – and shows no sign of slowing down. Transportation providers will continue to face challenges that arise from increasing financial pressure, shifting demographics, and disruptive technology. To keep pace, providers need to seek out solutions that will allow them to do more with less.

    Transit software comes into play to enable scalability and flexibility in this changing industry. It provides a suite of powerful, platform-independent tools and services to manage, monitor and improve service delivery, ridership and employee performance in real-time.

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    Five Reasons to Adopt Transit Software

    Before diving into the implementation plan itself, it’s important to understand what an agency stands to gain from this technological investment. Here are the 5 key benefits: 

    Efficiency

    The right software will improve transit metrics such as ridership, on-time performance, fuel costs, and satisfaction rates. As your business scales, automation in scheduling and dispatching processes become more and more vital in increasing operational efficiency. Through automated optimization of schedules, transit software allows providers to redeploy internal resources dedicated to maintaining cumbersome systems and performing manual time-consuming processes, ultimately increasing vehicle capacity utilization to provide more, and better quality trips.

    Cost

    Across the US, government entities and transit agencies are facing the challenge of providing higher levels of transportation services with less funding support. Freeing up internal resources and increasing the utilization of transport capacity directly brings down cost.

    The second aspect of cost reduction lies in schedule optimization. Running the right routes in the right order is essential when it comes to cost reductions. With the help of transit software, agencies can identify any route excess and be able to adjust based on time spent to complete a route.

    Visibility

    Transit software gives you full visibility into the day-to-day operations and systems, from scheduling to dispatching, which allows you to easily identify areas for improvement. Some transit software can monitor the actual utilization and lifecycle of your agency’s vehicles. It identifies the actual number of passengers onboard during the hours of service. This helps prevent the use of more costly vehicles when possible and guides procurement. It can also help to keep track of scheduled maintenance.

    Accountability

    Transit software gives you the ability to monitor driver behavior which increases accountability. Drivers are made aware of early or late status, and you’ll be able to review their current locations. With their everyday tasks streamlined and automated, dispatchers will also be able to be held accountable for issue resolution.

    Safety

    With rider safety as a top concern, agencies need to find a way to address this concern effectively. Transit software gives you visibility into the rider experience and operator management. Good software will also prevent drivers from being distracted by the software while driving, allowing interactions only when the vehicle is stopped.

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    Transit Software Implementation Plan

    Just like with any other agency change, software implementations are challenging, and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something. Without the right knowledge and approach, your new transit software could end up causing more problems than it solves. Here is a strategic plan for a successful implementation:

    Selecting your Software Partner

    Understanding the ‘Why’: Software Requirements Before even looking into your options, take a step back to understand why you’re implementing new transit software in the ...
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    Transition Planning

    Budget Planning Determine the source of funding: Will you use grants or existing ...
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    Implementation: Managing the Transition

    The 3D Approach: Data, Drivers, and Dispatchers Data: Don’t blindly import data “as-is” from the software you were ...
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    Post-Implementation

    Your new transit software has been fully implemented, and the Go-Live procedure was a success. Now what? Ongoing training: Even though ...
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    The 7 Most Common Mistakes

    Not Communicating with Your Customers

    In some cases, communication can make or break a project. Proper communication during the implementation of a new technology is crucial to the success of the project, and one of the most important groups to update is your agency’s customers.

    Not Communicating with Partner Agencies

    All partner agencies that you provide services to should also be receiving proactive communications from you. It’s important that time is taken to understand how the system and operational changes connected with new transit software implementations may affect these organizations – and to share this information with them.

    Not Communicating with Drivers

    Your drivers are your agency’s ambassadors on the road and are ultimately responsible for enacting any procedural or technology changes in daily operations. They need to be included early in the implementation process. This allows for their concerns to be heard and addressed and any operational issues associated with the transition resolved beforehand .

    Not Reviewing your Data

    When implementing software, it is really tempting to just import your data “as-is,” and then clean it up later. Like all computer systems, the accuracy of your results is going to be completely dependent on the quality of the data being put into the new software. Fix those errors before you import data. Your daily work will become much easier.

    Assuming Management Does Not Need Training

    Among other reasons, it is important for agencies to have managers who fully understand the software system so that they can clearly communicate new requests, tasks, and explanations in a way that takes into account new processes and applications.

    Not Having A Go-Live Game Plan

    Even with the best of efforts, software Go-Lives don’t always run perfectly smoothly. It is important to have a clearly laid out plan to prepare for any major or minor hiccups – both anticipated and unanticipated.  

    Forgetting to Cheer

    Congratulations, your new transit software has been fully implemented successfully! You’re still making one big mistake, though. With all of the time and energy put into the implementation of the new system, it can be easy to forget to celebrate a job well done at the end. Make sure to take some time to celebrate your agency’s victory and thank all of your staff for their input, hard work and dedication; they (and you) have certainly earned it.
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    In A Nutshell: Be Strategic

    An agency-wide adoption of a new software is no small change. It affects every level of your agency and every aspect of your operations. Mistakes during implementation could mean causing more problems rather than solving existing ones.

    A successful implementation requires a significant amount of evaluation and planning with the ultimate goal being a smooth transition to new transit software, where you can confidently handle problems so that partners, staff and riders maintain confidence in your operations.

    In summary, it is important for transit agencies to be strategic in the entire planning process. Answer key foundational questions before diving into the project itself, lay out a thorough plan, and be persistent in the execution. This will ensure your transit software implementation will in fact be able to support your business and operational needs.

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