Accurate Schedule Information
For YOLOBUS, operating 50 fixed-route buses out of mostly rural Yolo County, California, presented a challenge in relaying accurate bus schedule and location information to both dispatchers and passengers. Easy access to this information was a key goal for YOLOBUS. Managers also needed to gain a transparent view of driver activity to improve efficiencies, better plan routes, and accurately respond to customer complaints.
To meet these needs, YOLOBUS implemented Mentor StreetsÂ®, a fully integrated ITS solution that includes software applications for Computer-Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL), event management, and schedule and route adherence, as well as in-vehicle mobile computing. Providing passengers with up-to-date schedule information is Ride Guide, a Mentor-designed website where passengers are able to access real-time schedule and bus location information.
YOLOBUS' customer service agents are now able to provide up-to-the-second information to callers. The Ride Guide website gives riders another source for information with the potential to reduce the number of calls customer service agents field. According to Erik Reitz, Transit Planner for Yolo County Transportation: "The website plays an important role in serving customers because riders can see almost as much information as our dispatchers when it comes to the precise location of their bus. It is a valuable tool for riders when planning their schedules."
The implementation of Streets also allows managers, such as Erik, to do their job more effectively. "The number one reason I wanted an AVL system was to get a clear picture of driver activities and route efficiencies. Instead of relying on the drivers to provide route information, or surveying the routes in person, I now have all that information at my fingertips and I know it's accurate. Based on that knowledge, I can make changes to routes that will positively impact our agency and riders."