In this issue:
- Local Efforts in Community Transportation
- State Efforts in Community Transportation
- National Efforts in Community Transportation
Group works toward better scheduling and dispatching
Please note: As of July 2009, this Web site is available as an information resource, but is no longer being updated since the program is not currently active.
In 2003, a group of regional specialized transit providers, known as the County Transit Associates (CTA), began a project to upgrade its scheduling and dispatching technology in order to provide more efficient and more coordinated services.
The CTA consists of Anoka County Traveler, Carver County, HSI Inc., Scott County, and DARTS. Each agency has in the last decade automated its scheduling and dispatching operations using TrapezePASS software, and as a result, has been able to provide more rides and increase the efficiency of their systems. However, over time, different operating platforms and versions of the software had surfaced among the agencies.
In looking toward future trends in regional paratransit service needs, CTA members realized they needed to upgrade their software and hardware. In addition, they saw an opportunity to explore potential long-term benefits of increasing coordination among the group as well as with the regional ADA provider, Metro Mobility. Through the use of complementary systems, coordination could eventually extend to the sharing of databases, training, procedures, and other systems.
The group received Metropolitan Council regional transit capital funds to support this technology coordination effort. The project's goals include:
- Consolidation and/or reduction of annual licensing fees from vendors
- Reduced expenses through joint training, user groups, and implementations
- Increased standardization of information among members
- Increased support for troubleshooting and best practices coordination
- Increased coordination of members serving their communities
- Shared implementation, integration, and installation support from vendors
- Standardization and consistency of reports for the Metropolitan Council
In return, each CTA member has agreed to provide adequate operations, administrative, and technical support staffing; commit sufficient resources to complete the full implementation of the system; allow adequate time for staff away from daily work activities for on- and offsite training; meet on a quarterly basis to evaluate implementations and service; and have at least one staff member participate in all group meetings.
The total project cost of $249,000 includes 16 servers, 39 workstations, license upgrades, and implementation and training support. In-kind project oversight and management—including all hardware purchasing, on-going installation and implementation technical assistance, and post-implementation training—is being provided by DARTS.